A nurse practitioner has shared an unnerving medical illustration showing how a coronavirus test is administered in a bid to encourage people to stay at home amid the pandemic.
Dr. Jessica Peck, a pediatric nurse practitioner and clinical professor at the Baylor University Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas, tweeted an image created by medical illustration and animation company MediVisuals showing “how far back we have to put the swab to test you for #COVID19.”
“You might want to follow medical recommendations and #StayHome,” Peck wrote.
— Jessica Peck, DNP APRN CPNP-PC (@DrPeckPNP) March 29, 2020
Peck was inspired to share the illustration after witnessing “significant non-adherence to recommendations and orders to stay home,” she told HuffPost.
“At this stage of illness, many people do not know anyone personally affected by severe illness and so it can be difficult to be motivated to change your health behaviors,” the mother of four explained via email.
“Getting a nasal swab, however, is much more relatable,” she said. “People could see that as a personal possibility, so I think that’s why it resonated so much. If it motivates them to change their health behaviors including staying home and practicing thoughtful hygiene, I think that’s a good thing.”
Peck dismissed the suggestion made by some social media users that she’d actually wanted to discourage people from getting tested. The procedure involves a sterile swab being inserted through the nostril and placed at the back of the patient’s nasal passage for several seconds.
“It was never my intent,” Peck said of the testing process she described as “not a particularly painful test for most, although decidedly uncomfortable.”
“The greater risk currently is not asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people not getting tested, but rather not staying home and exposing more vulnerable sections of the population to potential for more severe illness,” she explained.
“It was intended with a bit of humor, which I think has resonated well as I have gotten a good laugh at some of the responses,” she said of her tweet. “Laughter is an important element for resilience capacity. If it starts conversations about staying home, I’m grateful for that.”
MediVisuals president Bob Shepherd, whose company created the image, said he was “just hopeful this image will contribute in some small way to help health care providers better diagnose COVID-19 ― and perhaps help comfort the general public through awareness.”
People who have been tested for the virus attested to the unpleasantness of the test procedure:
I can attest to this. I was tested last week, and right before the swab, my doctor says, "You're going to HATE this."
He was right.
My test was negative, but the sentiment is the same. #StayHome#StayHome https://t.co/Rkjptrl14q
— Michael Jenkins (@JenksNBCS) March 31, 2020
I had to have one a few weeks ago and it was the most unpleasant and physically uncomfortable experiences I've ever had in a doctor's office.
I hated it so much and was so relieved when it was over. https://t.co/inBjnklW2b
— Ryan Sloane (@RyanFSloane) March 30, 2020
I went through this for a regular flu and wow it was incredibly unpleasant. After the doctor took it out I said "HOLY SHIT" and she was like "...Yeah" https://t.co/lxYr9muW9Y
— Stephanie Foo (@imontheradio) March 30, 2020
Others, meanwhile, suggested the image was perfect motivation to continue social distancing and remaining at home:
No thanks, I would rather stay inside for 2 years. https://t.co/VrhiWsCpwT
— Gia Milinovich (@giagia) March 30, 2020
I'll just stay at home, thank you 😱 https://t.co/PLPnXUQIX4
— Henry Manampiring (@newsplatter) March 30, 2020
"Stay at home or this is where the swab goes" might motivate anybody else who isn't already socially distancing. https://t.co/aHCMRk078X
— Paul Fairie (@paulisci) March 30, 2020
Clarification: While Dr. Peck does hold a doctorate, she is not a physician, and the article has been updated to avoid confusion as to her credentials.
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