Are you ready to re-open?

Are you ready to re-open?

Anyone else ready for things to return to normal – or as normal as possible?

If I had five hands they would all be in the air right now!

While I have enjoyed the slower pace of things and less packed restaurants as they’re gradually re-opening (FL resident writing) I’m ready for rhythms, and parties, and concerts, and being able to see my clients face-to-face.

Restaurants will gradually increase their capacity. 

Stores will continue to reopen.

Concerts will reschedule.

Party invitations will be sent once again.

But the question we can’t get away from is: What does it look like to reopen our practices in a way that makes our clients feel physically safe?

As clinicians we spend a lot of time creating an emotionally safe space, which includes communicating that they are physically safe, but in the midst of Covid-19 physical safety is taking a new spin.

Here are four things we recommend (and that clinicians we work closely with are working on) to prepare the practice for a smooth and successful reopening:

Set up your digital forms

You know how you hand clients papers to fill out when they come in and a pen to fill out the paper with. Don’t forget the clipboard the paper is attached to. That’s a lot of things people are touching and should be sanitized after use.

Skip all that by setting up your digital forms. This does a couple of things:

  1. Each person can use their own device. Your clients can use their own device to fill out the form and you can use your own device to review the information they provide. 
  2. Less things to sanitize. If emailing the form isn’t your “cup of tea”, having your client fill out the form on your computer still reduces the amount of things you need to sanitize and provides for the clinician to review the forms on their own devices instead of endlessly shuffling and filing papers.
  3. Fewer people have contact. When you use digital forms not only are you cutting down on the amount of things you have to sanitize but you’re also reducing the amount of people who have to come in contact with the papers because you aren’t having to pass the papers or file them for safe keeping.

If you’re like “YES, I need to set up digital forms, but don’t know where to start” schedule a call with us. Making your practice as simple as possible is why we exist! We’re happy to answer your questions and even get you set up with a completely digital system if that’s what you want.

Set up SMS Texting 

Have you noticed how many restaurants and stores have taken this time to renovate or repaint during this time? Being out of routine and having fewer sessions isn’t exactly ideal, but we can capitalize on this time by updating our systems and automating as much as possible. 

Aside from implementing a system for digital forms we highly recommend setting up SMS Texting via a secure platform. This way you can notify your clients about their upcoming session without ever having to pick up a phone to call them. 

If you’ve ever used scheduling software for social media SMS Texting functions a lot like that. It auto texts your prewritten and scheduled texts. You can also enable features that allow your clients to confirm, cancel, or reschedule their appointments as needed.

Masks

This is where making your clients feel physically safe comes in. Lots of people are making masks these days. Most people own masks by now, too. And you can have disposable masks prepared for your clients as they walk in. 

SMS Texting could be super handy to quickly and automatically remind your clients to bring masks for their sessions (can you tell we’re huge fans of the SMS Texting?!).

Personally wearing a mask during sessions or at least asking a client if that would make them feel more comfortable, is highly recommended. So, find yourself a mask you don’t hate wearing!

Barrier

We’ve seen these applied in a few fashions. Simply by creating significant space between where you are sitting in your clients is sitting either by moving chairs further apart or turning a coffee table long ways. Plexi glass whether hanging from the ceiling, a trifold, or a stand is a great (and our favorite) option. It could also remove the need to wear masks which would make talking much easier and less awkward.

When you and your client are not concerned about getting each other sick it will allow for more open conversation and rapport.

This is a challenging season. Not only have our lives been rocked with closures and precautions such as masks and stay-at-home mandates but they continue to be rocked as we’re working towards a new normal without promoting another peak. With compassion, intention, and alertness we can navigate these transitions in a way that moves us forward and empowers us to provide premium care for clients.

If you have any questions or want help setting up digital forms and SMS Texting please feel free to reach out or schedule a call with us. We’re here for you!

May 20, 2020 / iTherapy Blog

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