A Week-in-the-Life of a Telehealth NP on the COVID-19 Frontlines
What’s it like to work on the COVID frontlines while balancing three kids and working part-time in telehealth? Pulmonary nurse practitioner, Rebecca L., gives us a behind-the-scenes look into her work week and how she overcame her initial hesitancy to work in virtual care.
I am honored to have been asked to share my experience as a nurse practitioner working with Wheel. My name is Rebecca, and I am currently licensed in Ohio as an NP, however am awaiting approval for state licensure in many other states to expand my virtual care practice. I was given this amazing opportunity less than a year ago, starting small, and over time I’ve expanded my practice with Wheel through a variety of different companies.
To say the least, when I first joined Wheel I was nervous about accepting my first job opportunity! Truthfully, I simply have never been great with technology, generally finding myself asking my children what I’m doing wrong when it comes to the computer. Knowing I would be pairing something I know well (practicing medicine) with something I feel wary of (technology) made me hesitant and nervous about starting this new adventure as a telehealth clinician.
But when my first telehealth job opportunity presented itself, the potential to grow as a provider was calling and I knew I had to accept — since then, I've never looked back.
Here’s a look at my week as a Wheel clinician, an in-clinic pulmonary nurse practitioner, and above all, a mother of three!
Monday: A busy start
I get up Monday morning to start my week off. I’m grateful that even in these crazy COVID times, right now all three of my children can attend school in-person for at least part of the week. They are generally pretty good about taking care of themselves in the morning, although they do need a push to get going.
I log on to my Wheel dashboard in the morning while my kids get ready, checking for any consults or patients that need attention before getting myself ready for work in the clinic. I do a lot of COVID triage these days, so often I’m reviewing consults that need clearance to return to work or advising on whether someone’s symptoms or exposure warrants getting a COVID test.
Once I get my kids off to school on the bus, I head to work where I practice as a pulmonary nurse practitioner. As you can imagine, the clinic is crazy right now with COVID cases. Today I see patients in the COVID clinic and consult on administering monoclonal antibodies.
After getting through a rather challenging morning, I check my Wheel dashboard to see if there are any patients or consults that I can address on my lunch hour. I finish up my in-person work day and head straight to my son's basketball game, which helps me let go of the day’s stress a little.
Once I get home, I log on with Wheel once again to take any asynchronous consults that may have come through while relaxing before bed. And then I start it all over again the next day!
Tuesday: Managing kids & consults
Tuesday mornings aren't as stressful, as only one of my children attends school in-person and the other two are on a hybrid schedule.
I start by conducting my usual virtual patient check-ins and Wheel consults before getting ready for another day in the clinic. On Tuesdays, I generally drop off my son that has to go to school since he dislikes riding the bus by himself. While I take him to school and commute to the clinic, I continue to wait for any Wheel patients that need to be cleared for returning to work.
Once I get to work, I continue seeing my routine patients along with all the consults they slip in for the COVID clinic. Doing the same as usual while catching up on my charting during my lunch, I hop online for any needed Wheel consults.
On Tuesdays I have to rush home to get my daughter to the horse barn in time for her riding lesson. I am on call with Wheel while sitting in privacy at the barn, and wait for any consults that may come through. Once I get home, I finish up my evening within easy access to my computer for any patients that may need treatment. I generally work until ten o'clock, having the convenience of laying in bed to finish up my work day.
The beauty of it all is that most of my consults are asynchronous, which means the patients don't have a video consult — so yes, I'm typically in my pajamas!
Wednesday: A fun evening at home
Wednesday marks the middle of the week when I’m always looking forward to the weekend!
My youngest son, who is still going to school five days a week, generally starts complaining today because his brother and sister get to stay home again while he still has to go to school. He reluctantly gets ready for school while I get myself ready for work and simultaneously take any Wheel consults that come in. I drop him off and complete my work day at the clinic.
Wednesday night we try to have family fun time playing games or watching movies, but I’m still able to work in the meantime, jumping on my computer intermittently when I’m needed.
Thursday: The art of multitasking
It's Thursday and what's great about this day is that ALL of my children go to school! I complete the usual hustle and bustle of the morning, put my kids on the bus, and head off to the clinic. Just like any other day, I use my lunch hour to catch up with clinical work and jump on my computer to take care of any needs for my Wheel patients.
I have definitely mastered the art of a multitasking working mom at this point!
I finish up my day and head to my son's basketball game. Once again, when I get home I relax in comfy clothes, toggle on with Wheel, and wait for more consults.
Friday: Working from home
Finally Friday! This is my short day at work, allowing me to be more readily available for telehealth once I get home. I am able to dedicate more time for virtual care in the afternoon and into the evening.
I often think to myself how awesome it is to have made it through another week of work in the clinic while picking up multiple Wheel consults — most of which are in the comfort of my own home, while hanging out with my kids, AND making extra money on the side. Seeing my Wheel earnings rack up really keeps me motivated.
Saturday & Sunday: Family time
Saturday and Sunday I finally have time to catch up around the house after managing a busy week of work and running kids.
Saturday, I get up for a run before logging on with Wheel, catching up on consults and asynchronous patient needs while waiting for any synchronous consults that pop up.
Sunday, I take most of the day to hang with my kids, getting into whatever they feel we need to do knowing that tomorrow is Monday again and it starts all over. By four or five we are back home, and I toggle on with Wheel to wait for consults while relaxing and getting ready for the next work week.
Phew! I made it through another week. I feel rewarded, proud, and grateful.
Why I love working with Wheel
Wheel has given me such a great opportunity, and I will forever be grateful. There are so many reasons why.
First, the Wheel team is amazing and always helpful, no matter what the task or question may be.
Second, I have learned so much working for this company, and my knowledge base has expanded to areas that I never thought I would treat.
Third, and most importantly, the financial ease I’ve gained with my Wheel income has been so helpful for my family.
The rewards truly are endless. My patients are so grateful when they can be treated for urgent issues without having to leave their house. My children are happy to hear me say that I have work to do but it's from home, so I can continue to spend time with them while making extra cash on the side. And I look forward to my future with this company as I await my other state licensures to expand my practice and take on more opportunities in telehealth.
Wheel has been an amazing company to work for and gives me the freedom to work from anywhere. I can take my computer with me on-the-go, widen my knowledge base, and let's be honest, earning the extra cash on the side is definitely a positive!
Since being so hesitant about taking my first opportunity in virtual care, I’ve never looked back, and I can’t wait to see how my career trajectory changes by working with Wheel.
- Rebecca L., Pulmonary Nurse Practitioner, Cleveland
A note of gratitude from Wheel
Thank you so much, Rebecca, for giving us a glimpse into your life as a front-line healthcare hero and as an essential member of the #WheelCareTeam! We are so grateful for your contributions to our team and your stellar devotion to patient care!
Interested in joining our team of multitasking moms, healthcare heroes, and rockstar virtual care clinicians? Complete our “Work with Us” pre-application screening above and our recruiting team will be in touch with you soon!
You can also learn more about virtual care clinician experiences in our previous spotlight interviews with a family nurse practitioner extending care access with telehealth, a physician expanding her medical career through telemedicine, and an entrepreneurial NP pushing limits with telemedicine.