This wonderful news comes to us from India.
Mridula S Sree is a rookie nurse who got pitched into the frontlines of treating the patients with Corona virus, she did an exemplary job and shares her experience with us.
This rookie nurse has barely half an year of experience at the Government TD Medical College Hospital in Alleppey. Initially she was quite apprehensive about being in the same room as patients with the COVID-19 virus. This is because the isolation ward can be quite lonely and discomfiting. While she was a student of nursing, she had heard stories of the ward and how it places stress on the medical personnel situated there.
Mridula says, “Its just you and the patient in a spare, bright room with only two doors- a designated entrance and exit to be used exclusively as such. An attendant sits outside just in case, but once you enter that door is almost never opened till you are relieved of duty. It takes some getting used to.”
Mridula’s first experience with the isolation ward came in February when a medical student returned from Wuhan, making it India’s second confirmed coronavirus case and the patient was kept in the isolation ward of the hospital with Mridula in attendance.
Speaking of her experience, Mridula says that the fear of contracting the virus never really goes away and that it is her duty to work through fears and doubts. She work in four hour shifts in the isolation ward where no meals or bathroom breaks are allowed. This routine, according to Mridula is more intense and demanding than the six hour stints in the medical ward.
Mridula dons the PPE or Personal Protection Equipment which is a Hazmat suit offering head to toe coverage. It consists of a hoodie like heaf covering, wide cover goggles and respiratory N95 mask. There is also a puncture resistant jumpsuit , tight and heavy fitting gloves, disposable boot covers and also an apron. Accessories and jewelries are not allowed inside the isolation ward except a regularly sanitized mobile phone that has only the numbers of team members on it.
Mridula says that it is very sweaty and suffocation to work inside the confines of the mask as it is restricting the air flow. Even if sweat gets into the eyes and there is an itch they are not allowed to scratch or touch their faces while inside the isolation ward. There is a special way to remove the suit so that it does not come in contact with the person. After removal the suits are discarded into biomedical waste bags situated in the exit area.
Mridula’s stint in the isolation ward ended with the discharge of the Wuhan returned patient. She thereafter wrote about her experience in a Facebook post and it received a lot of positive affirmation and accolades from all over the country and beyond. She however feels that she is being glorified while the rest of the team’s efforts are going unnoticed. The brave nurse is now preparing for her second stint in the isolation ward as India sees a rise in the number of Coronavirus cases.
Image source: Outlook India