I’m over the Measles

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No I did not have the measles. We had two outbreaks in my small town and I work in a doctors office.

It all started last week on Wednesday. We had a parent bring their child into the clinic and the parent ended up having measles. The next day we had to call every patient that was in the clinic on Wednesday one hour before and two hours after the the parent was in our clinic. Oh and we received over one hundred phone calls from parents asking if their children had the MMR vaccine.

For those who you don’t know I work in the only pediatric clinic with in like 500 miles. We have three phone lines and four people answering them. So has you can imagine we were very busy and we only have 3 nurses on staff who had to call of those parents back. We managed to make it through and the next day we only 25 phone calls about the measles and we have continued to receive a few phone calls in the days since.

Then the second outbreak happens just this past Wednesday(a popular day for us). A five year old girl and her family come into the clinic to the see doctor in the afternoon. The next thing I know all the medical staff are walking around with worried looks on their faces and you can tell something is up. A second later I am being told that we are shutting the clinic down for the rest of the day and that we have to reschedule all the appointments for remainder of the day. Nobody was allowed in or out of the clinic and we had have someone outside to explain to patients why they couldn’t come inside.  We didn’t know at this point why we are shutting down just that we had a situation.  The doctors suspected that the five year old  had the measles but it would take 24 hours to know for sure.

There is a mad scramble to reschedule appointments. The energy has gone from calm to crazy all in 30 seconds. We all pitched in and everything went smoothly. We had to disinfected the whole clinic from top to bottom and make take note of every patient that was in the building while the five year old was in the building in case they had the measles.

The next day we were open for business has normal and while we received a few phone calls from angry parents wanting to know why we shut the clinic early the day before. We had been instructed not to say weather or not we had a measles outbreak because we didn’t know for sure. We could say that we had an infectious situation but nothing more. Parents were angry and some even threaten to leave our clinic but we pressed on.

This morning I walk into work and its confirmed that the five year old does have measles and that everyone that was in the clinic on Wednesday had been called and the health department is dealing with media and is going to provide us with more information has needed. I don’t work up front answering phones on Fridays so I didn’t have deal with the never ending phone calls but the mood in the clinic felt rushed as it  had before.

I sure hope we don’t have any more outbreaks and that the five year old and the parent that have measles get better soon and we can move on.

On a brighter note I purchased my plane ticket for Tulsa and I’m so excited. I can’t wait for May!

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