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4 Tips for Talking to Your Patients About Coronavirus

COVID-19, otherwise known as Coronavirus, is sweeping the world with fear, questions, and curiosity. Although it is mostly affecting people in China, the growing number of outbreaks in other countries may be leaving you to wonder how to address this with worried patients. San Diego Medical Waste has 4 tips for talking to them about relieving this stress.

1. Stay Calm and Listen

It is normal for people to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared, or angry during a crisis. Listen to the concerns of your patient calmly. Maintain body language that communicates understanding and empathy, and reassure them that what they are feeling is normal. You can talk to patients about the basic measures they can take to stay healthy and safe, and then encourage them to talk to friends, family, or counselors once they leave your facility.

2. Encourage a Healthy Lifestyle

While there are a lot of unknowns with new outbreaks and pandemics, the tried and true methods for healthy living remain effective.

  • Wash hands often

  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth

  • Cover coughs in the bend of your arm

  • Stay home from work and contact a health provider when you are feeling ill

  • Maintain a distance of at least 3 feet from individuals who are ill

Remind your patient to not use alcohol, smoking, or drugs to deal with the stress of the coronavirus. Instead, talk to them about continuing a healthy lifestyle of exercise, proper sleep, balanced diet, and relationships with friends, family, and loved ones. If they are feeling overwhelmed and are seeking help, connect them with mental health providers.

3. Limit Worry

The 24-hour stream of media and news can create anxiety and worry in any of us. Encourage your patient to lessen their time on social media, talk to them about cutting down on television, and replace time spent on media with a homemade family meal, music, board games, or reading. Draw on skills the patient has maybe used in the past to deal with times of stress.

4. Stay Informed

The best defense against fear is knowledge. The World Health Organization is a great resource for the latest news, updates, and efforts being made to combat Coronavirus around the globe. Stay up-to-date yourself or recommend this site for weary patients seeking to better understand the diseases impact around the world.

For more information about talking to your patients and proper medical waste disposal, contact San Diego Medical Waste Services, LLC, for more information: or 619-990-4604.