HOUSTON - Medical workers have been called heroes since the beginning of the pandemic.
We caught up with one of those heroes, an emergency room doctor, who says this challenging time has actually brought her closer to her patients. She also shares words of encouragement to anyone concerned about getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
Dr. Gina Blocker is an emergency medicine physician, who does her best to avoid germs each day, thanks to protective gear at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. What she doesn't want is barriers in the personal relationship with her patients.
"I found other ways to communicate and touch and hear my patients, and that has been the most rewarding part of the entire pandemic. I found ways to connect to patients, other than through physical touch, and that's given me another tool in my toolbox to provide high-level care," states Dr. Blocker.
This mother of five has done everything she can to not only help her patients, but protect her own family from the highly contagious virus. She admits some days are hard.
"I've allowed myself to feel those feelings. It's okay to be 'just okay' some days, and so I've found ways to become resilient, and to provide that to my patients, giving them hope, that we are nearing, hopefully, the light at the end of the tunnel with the pandemic. Providing that to my patients, that aspect of hope and resilience, has been so healing for me," says a smiling Dr. Blocker.
Dr. Blocker says her colleagues have helped a lot, as well.
"Everyone has been so fantastic! We really rallied together to sustain our mental health and our physical health as well. That's probably been such a lifesaver in my mental state, going into work every day and be greeted by a team that's got your back, so it's been a wonderful experience," exclaims Dr. Blocker.
She is happy to share her positive side of things, for one because she's concerned that students, who were once thinking about going into medicine may be hesitant because of this pandemic or possible ones in the future.
"I will tell you that medicine is the greatest calling and if you decide to answer that call to serve others in your community, please do continue on that route or path of application to medical school and residency. I would put a special call out to the minorities who are interested in the field. We need more black physicians and physicians of color taking care of our communities of color. It's imperative to the health of the future of these communities that we are present in taking care of these patients. So, if you decide this field is for you, please do answer the call and continue on the path," urges Dr. Blocker.
Dr. Blocker has personally remained COVID-free and is definitely relieved about that. She shares these final words of encouragement for anyone who's concerned about getting a coronavirus vaccine.
"I think it's primarily the distrust in the medical profession from communities of color in general that added so much skepticism to obtain the vaccine or getting the vaccine. I think it's important for communities to identify physicians or leaders in the medical community to really reach out and answer some of these questions that may go unanswered and may lead to a lot of misunderstandings when it comes to the vaccine in communities of color. I, for one, am an advocate of the vaccine, and especially for those in the extremes of age, and with other risk factors that may be very important to how they deal with COVID, if they do get COVID," says Dr. Blocker. She suggests that everyone consider getting a COVID vaccine to help our country reach herd immunity.
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