“I worry a lot about what I may bring home to my family,” Dr. Bhana says. “I have a 10-year-old and a 5-year-old at home, and my spouse works from home. I usually wear a lab coat every day, with dress pants and a dress shirt. But now I am in scrubs all the time. My lab coat stays at work. When I come home, I can easily take off the scrubs and wash them. I had to adapt.”
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Explore This IssueMay 2020
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Dr. Bhana watched a Curious George cartoon, “Toots and the Germettes,” with his children to teach them how infections are spread and the importance of hand washing.
Life outside the rheumatology clinic at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, where advanced practice provider Barbara A. Slusher, MSW, PA-C, sees patients and supervises staff, has changed dramatically too.
“I haven’t been to the grocery store for two weeks. I have an 18-year-old high school senior at home, and I leave him money and a list so he can buy the groceries. I told him to buy some brownies to bake during the day,” says Ms. Slusher, who lives in Galveston County, where there is a shelter-in-place order for all residents after midnight each night. Her son’s college applications have been put to the side for now, because the university admissions offices are closed.
She says, “My faith is very important to me. I would not be able to do what I am doing without my faith. I have had conversations with my son about ethics. Be good to your patient. Be kind to your coworker. Enjoy your brownie or the breaks you’re able to take. Have a sense of appreciation for all of those small things.”
Susan Bernstein is a freelance journalist based in Atlanta.