Family practice in Louisiana copes with community coronavirus diagnoses


BOSSIER CITY, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – The coronavirus isn’t just impacting area hospitals, but smaller family practices, as well.

Doctors Carter and Bernadette Boyd have worked alongside at Boyd Family Practice for years, but the “family” in the name doesn’t just refer to them, but also their patients. They’re just like family to them.

The doctors suit up daily in gloves and masks to return to the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus.

“This is our vocation, what we’re called to do,” said Dr. Bernadette Boyd, PhD, FNP. “And we feel the need to do it.”

Boyd Family Practice is screening sick patients from their cars and, if needed, swabbing samples to test for COVID-19.

Seeing the impact the deadly disease has had so quickly on our community has impacted the physicians.

“It hurts and we feel like we’re doing our small part,” said Dr. Bernadette.

The drive-up service driving a lot of traffic since starting a couple weeks ago.

The goal is two-fold.

“Stamp out this silent killer, first of all,” said Dr. Bernadette. “Second of all, to give some relief. Some people may not have it [COVID-19], most people don’t that come through that get tested. But, it gives them some relief.”

Inside the clinic, phone lines ring steadily with patients requesting appointments.

All staff wear personal protective equipment to prevent spreading germs.

“You just sometimes have to be a mother,” said Dr. Bernadette. “And sometimes the mother isn’t the most popular person in the room, but it’s in the bottom line usually the right thing to do.”

The waiting room full of empty seats, reserved for the occasional well patient without symptoms.

For now, the team’s focus is getting sick patients well and seeing them as quickly as possible.

“They’re looking to us for answers and for hope and security,” said Dr. Bernadette.

She said they’ve administered dozens of tests daily since they received supplies.

“This is like nothing I’ve seen before,” said Dr. Bernadette. “This is unbelievable. And it hits home because you don’t know who has it.”

She said from young children to adults in their 70s, the disease doesn’t discriminate.

“It’s just like the virus has a bunchof dice and they’re throwing it at your body,” said Dr. Bernadette. And, it may attack one area really badly, and you can’t keep up with it.”

Each positive test result is a person’s life, not just a statistic.

“As a woman, you cry,” she said. “I had a good cry last week.”

This husband-and-wife-run family practice has been a part of the community for decades. For them, fighting this virus is personal.

“They’re our patients,” said Dr. Bernadette. “We care for them.”

She said self-responsibility in health will be a key factor in stopping the spread of the coronavirus. That means everyone heeding government orders to stay home and washing hands frequently – even at home!

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