In May, MED Mag did a follow-up article with Dr. Sedlacek, our board-certified palliative medicine specialist at Yankton Medical Clinic, which highlights the importance of palliative care patients continuing treatment, especially during COVID-19.
As healthcare workers at Yankton Medical Center learn to cope with the new realities of COVID-19, board-certified palliative medicine specialist Amanda Sedlacek, DO, is stepping up efforts to support both them and their sickest patients.
Dr. Sedlacek was featured on the cover of the April/May issue of MED Magazine, which went to print before the pandemic had impacted the South Dakota region. Since then, Dr. Sedlacek’s work in patient and staff care has become even more relevant. She spoke with us again in late April to tell us about some of the changes.
“Every visit I have now is a virtual visit,” Sedlacek told MED. “This includes all of our palliative care patients, nursing home patients, everyone. At first, it was challenging. Even when things are normal, it is difficult to have some of these conversations. But to have to do it virtually is a definite change.”Learn More About Palliative Care
Sedlacek says some dying patients who would otherwise have distant family with them are having to navigate these strange waters on their own. In some cases, caregivers who were helping them can no longer come.
“We are touching base with our palliative care patients weekly now, just trying to see what they need for support,” she says. “Now, we are also having people asking more emotional questions instead of just informational. The whole dynamic has changed.”
Those changing dynamics, coupled with the stress of changes in their personal lives, has also made this a challenging time for YMC clinic staff.
To support them, Dr. Sedlacek is leading virtual in-service sessions on topics such as managing difficult conversations, dealing with emotional patients, delivering bad news remotely, embracing new traditions with their own families, taking better care of themselves, and living more mindfully.
Read the first article about Dr. Sedlacek from the April/May issue of MED Mag