Adapting to a New Normal in COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all of our lives. From wearing face masks to attending more Zoom meetings than we can count, we’re all working to adapt to a new normal. At Sierra Nevada, Ear, Nose & Throat, we’re no exception.

One of the ways we’ve adapted to COVID-19 is with our new, state-of-the-art MiniCATTM. A MiniCATTM is a Computed Tomography (CT) scanner that is specifically designed to take images of the sinuses and temporal bones. This happens right in a private room, without the need to sit in a busy waiting room.

“One day the world was normal, the next it all changed – and so did our usual way of practicing,” said Dr. Paul Manoukian. “Our MiniCATTM enables us to continue to provide our patients same-day, socially distant, quality diagnostic care.”

The MiniCATTM CT scan is fast and safe. The patient sits in a chair while an overhead arm rotates around their head. This low-radiation scan typically takes less than 20 seconds to complete and instantly sends the image to our physicians.

Without an in-house CT machine such as the MiniCATTM, ENT doctors had to send their patients to hospitals or imaging centers to perform CT scans. This means it could take days or even weeks before receiving a treatment plan. Now patients can often come in for an initial appointment and leave with a diagnosis and course of treatment in the same visit.

“Our team uses the MiniCATTM daily, which fits our workflow,” Dr. Manoukian said. “The ability to offer CT scans in a single visit gives our patients peace of mind. They receive same-day diagnosis and treatment planning. This obviates the need to visit multiple locations and reduces their risk of exposure to COVID-19.” 

In addition to our new MiniCATTM, Sierra Nevada Ear, Nose & Throat has also implemented new safety practices to enhance the clean, safe and professional level care we’ve always provided our patients. These include:

  • Daily temperature checks and health questionnaires for all employees
  • Temperature checks for all of our patients
  • Perception room specifically designed for social distance
  • Disinfecting examination rooms per CDC guidelines
  • Wearing surgical scrubs to maintain disinfection
  • Telemedicine appointments

If you have an in-person appointment, please wear a face mask or face covering and call the front desk to let us know when you’ve arrived. A medical assistant will come out to greet you to take your temperature and check you in. We’re also staggering appointments to limit the number of people in our waiting room.

While things have changed, the quality of care at Sierra Nevada Ear, Nose & Throat has not. Call (775) 883-7666 to make an in-person or telemedicine appointment today.

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