As we emerge from the stay home/stay safe phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have lost a person we loved or admired. All of us will miss opportunities to gather for celebrations and remembrances.
I dearly hope that AAPPN members will remain well and learn to dance to the dissonant music of this pandemic.
The novel coronavirus has a curious way of simultaneously evoking feelings of terror for what may emerge and feelings of relief that we successfully averted what could have been an even greater calamity. At the close of each day I fall asleep with a comforting sense of gratitude.
On a personal level, most of us may fair better than others during this health crisis and the ensuing economic slump. There is no doubt that others will lean on each of us for help. In addition to any pro-bono clinical services you will render, there will be still more requests.
Perhaps many of you have already been called upon to temporarily assist a family member with money, shelter, food; you will listen to and console friends. You might even be recruited to visit a grandchild via Zoom to complete a school assignment. Thank you for giving what you can in response to these personal bids. It is the right thing to do.
Professionally, I initially worried that our clinical practices would be disrupted; this worry has abated. Our dialogue at the AAPPN Open House meetings has become calmer over the past weeks. We consulted a billing specialist. We formed a huddle when questions arose that would have been unimaginable in the past. We shared what we learned from attending Zoom meetings of the Nursing Care Quality Assurance Committee and the Washington Health Care Authority.
It is now clear that AAPPN members can redesign services. I see that we are well positioned to meet the needs of our clients. This foundational framework will need to remain strong as we face a steep increase in the demand for mental health care as the economic fallout of this pandemic emerges.
Thank you for all that you do as a mental health professional. AAPPN is here to support you in delivering high quality services as we enter the next phase of the COVID pandemic.
Mary Ellen O’Keefe, MN, MBA, ARNP