Mora Pluchino, PT, DPT, Brett Gottman, OT, and Alicia Spinelli, MS, CCC-SLP wearing PPE
Brett Gottman, OT, and Mora Pluchino, PT, and Alicia Spinelli, MS CCC-SLP, are three members of the pediatric therapy team at Bacharach, and they want you to know how focused they are on safety.
Three months and counting into the Covid-19 experience, the Governor of New Jersey has lifted many of the restrictions that have been in place since inception. Now, parents must make informed decisions about the best setting for a child’s therapy.
At present, there are no official restrictions on therapy in person, and Bacharach pediatric therapists have resumed safely treating pediatric patients at the main campus in Pomona.
Brett Gottman, OT, says the first step is to interview the parents to make sure they are comfortable. “The child and the guardian will both arrive for the appointment wearing face masks,” said Brett. “Then they go through the regular screening at the front desk.”
At the front desk, each patient and guardian has his or her temperature taken. Next the guardian will answer a series of questions about travel, cruise ships, respiratory or gastric symptoms, and attendance at mass gatherings.
Personal Protective Equipment
Mora Pluchino, PT, DPT, said “All therapists wear a mask and face shield. All adults and children over two must wear a mask, too. We are limiting the chaperones that come in to one parent only.”
In addition, “When the patient and guardian go upstairs, they are going to a private treatment area.” Said Brett. “Each area is thoroughly sanitized between patients.”
“We continue our thorough cleaning habits of sanitizing toys and equipment between each child and encouraging families to keep their children home if they are not well,” said Mora.
“We focus on using hard surface toys that are easy to wipe down thoroughly,” said Brett “and we wipe down our face masks in between patients.”
Speech Therapy Measures
Alicia Spinelli noted a number of strategies that reduce the risk of exposure. “I have a five-month old patient who I am treating for feeding issues,” said Alicia. “I am all geared up (with PPE) – of course the baby can’t be. The baby’s parents are wearing PPE, so rather than holding the baby myself to demonstrate better feeding positioning, I instead verbally instruct the parents and have them hold the baby instead. I have another patient who is working on expressive and receptive language. He sits in a Rifton chair which helps him attend better and touch only the objects I put in front of him on a sanitized surface, like puzzles and worksheets with pictures.”
“Some children can tolerate a mask and face shield, and some just wear a mask. I wear gloves, a gown, a mask and a shield with every patient,” said Alicia.