It seems like forever that we have been conducting our services virtually and online! And just as soon as it has become the new normal, we are moving back to face-to-face meetings with clients! For some, like those in Michigan, this is already happening while others have a little bit of prep time before them. Going back to in-person services is not going to be easy, but it is something we have to do and that I am sure many are excited to do!
It is important to remember that COVID is still here and a vaccine does NOT make you or anyone immune to the disease. We need to ensure that we are taking all precautions possible when visiting our clients in order to minimize the risk for ourselves and others. Here are some tips to help guide you in returning to visit clients!
Maintain Social Distancing
You should always try to maintain some distance between you and clients during
meetings whether or not you are vaccinated! If this is not possible inside, trying holding
your meeting outside in the backyard, etc. With summer weather taking precedent, this
is definitely a great option!
Carry PPE Kits
Make sure you have your PPE supplies ready to go! This should include masks
(cloth or N95), hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes, and brown paper bags (to throw out
contaminated supplies). You should try to carry extra masks incase a client does not
have one handy.
Always make sure to check with your organization before spending your own
money on these supplies! More often than not, they are more than willing to supply you
Conduct Pre-Appointment Telephone Screenings
There are some basic screening questions you can ask your client the day of or
before your meeting. This way you are minimizing the risk of exposure. These are also
questions you should be have in mind for yourself to ensure the safety of your clients.
You never want to visit a client if you feel that you are putting them at risk of exposure.
Some questions you can ask include:
Have you been in contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID within the past 2 weeks?
Have you traveled out of state/country within the past 2 weeks?
Have you experienced any COVID related symptoms within the past 2 weeks?
And depending on org. policy, you may be able to ask whether or not they have received their vaccination! This is not to pass judgement or opinions on if they should/should not, but it may negate their answers to the questions above (i.e someone who is vaccinated is not required to quarantine if exposed to COVID or has traveled according to the CDC).
Always Check Your Organizations Policies and Guidelines!
Always check with your organization to make sure that these tips follow their
guidelines (they likely will). You should also check for any additional tips and resources
that they may be providing you!
And please make sure to take the normal precautions of working out in the community!
Never park in an individuals driveway, have a check-in buddy back at the office, take an
additional SW with you if you do not feel comfortable going alone, etc. Your health and
safety is your #1 priority! Do not compromise on this!
Good luck to everyone going back to in-person services!