ORDEAL OF A DOCTOR IN COVID ERA

I am an AssistantProfessor at SMC, Ghaziabad,and Delhi-NCR .I have been posted to do duty at COVID isolation for 14days.We work in three shifts consisting of 8-8-12 hours.We follow a 14 days of work and 14 days of break routine.Over the last few months things have changed drastically from normal to somewhat which cannot be called normal until a definitive treatment/ prevention of Covid-19 comes.

Things have become really challenging for the entire department. Since the onset of this pandemic department has started preparing the OT setup and OPD and managing duties to support to the other intensive working departments such as Pulmonary Medicine, Anaesthesia and Critical care.

Working in Covid isolation is tough especially during donning and doffing of PPE.Both of these take half an hour each. All these gears are one time use, so we have to forget our normal human needs like food, water, fresh air or even using the washroom during our shifts.At some centres doctors even use diapers to avoid using toilets.

Our multiple layers of mask and head gears allow no air leaks and breathing becomes difficult.Return communication is almost very difficult.It is also very hot and suffocating inside.Most of the times goggles fog up and vision is impaired.Everyone looks similar in the same dress and identification becomes difficult.Most of the times even the patient do not think of us as doctor ratheridentification and communication is a big challenge.Even on talking loudly, the patient can only hear as a murmur.Every time we try to communicate in sign language.But the utmost relief is when the shift ends as we are completely exhausted and drainedby the end of the shift.

There are moments when the PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) seems to be a chain and we feel like we are in a cage and want to break free.As a Health care worker, this is the best service we can provide to a nation and as a doctor we quite motivated to do the same.The administration is taking care of the physical and emotional part.Once this pandemic is over, I want to be with my parents who are back at home, having emotional stress?I can only pray for their well-being from far away.

With the intent of serving people, I entered into the medical field and gets utmost satisfaction when a patient shows gratitude and thanks from the heart.On seeing so many cases of abuse and assault on doctors, it’s disheartening and my career choice is on question .But then on remembering the Hippocratic Oath which we have taken and knowing the fact that many lives are dependent upon usI enter the isolation ward with the same zeal of serving the people.

Hoping that one day people will remember the lesson of humanity

And treat doctors as humans and not as demi-gods.I think this will be sufficient for us doctors.

   

Dr Biplaw