SELF-CARE FOR SELFLESS CARE: NEED OF THE HOUR

In January 2020, when the world was coming to terms with a new kind of corona virus which originated in Wuhan, China, I was writing NEET PG 2020 oblivious to all such developments. Little did I know that this unknown virus would take a form of a global health pandemic and would impact each and every healthcare professional. After delayed counseling process and days of expectations and apprehensions, I finally got my preferred specialization of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and joined as a Junior Resident in July 2020. The COVID-19 cases were on the rise and whole country was facing a great shortage of healthcare professionals. In this scenario, soon after the joining formalities we were initiated with COVID duties at COVID centre of Santosh Hospital. In COVID centre we were responsible for treating pregnant women who are infected with Covid-19. Pregnancy itself brings physiological and pathological changes in women’s body, in this sensitive phase corona virus infection make things even tender. As an incoming student to the OBGY department, I was motivated and enthusiastic to learn and hope to get great work satisfaction at the end of a day’s hard work. COVID brought extra challenges of working long hours cocooned in a personal protection kit. Hard breathing, continuous perspiration, inability to drink water for long period were few of the problems which made working much harder than usual times. I and so do my colleagues were learning the process, treating the patients and fighting to keep ourselves safe from Covid infection all at the same time. We have to be mindful of safely donning, working and doffing the PPEs as even a small breach on our part could endanger many other lives. I have to be on the call 24x7 during my COVID duties so to be available for the patient and their families in those precarious times. During duties we would have to donn for hours at stretch without food and water. Communicating with patient and colleagues was a cumbersome and a real test of patience. Breathing difficulties and blurred vision only adds up to the problem we face and at this assisting in a number of operating procedures was a tough task which brings with it a different kind of learning experience. Sleepless nights, lethargy after long hours in PPE and isolation of Doctors duty room take its toll on mind and body but what keeps me going was my love for my profession and my spirit to serve my patient well. When a pregnant woman goes home with a healthy baby after a safe delivery, the smile on the faces makes all my hardship seems worth it. I really hope that this pandemic ends soon and we can go back to a safer and easier work environment where we can take care of patients in a much better way. I hope the people appreciate the tough and vulnerable conditions in which healthcare workers are working. We only expect that they understand their responsibility and stay safe and vigilant in the face of this pandemic. We doctors would appreciate it more than the tokenism of flower shower from helicopters.

 

Dr Apoorva Garg (JR-1)

Department of Obst & Gynecology