National Doctors' Day Today: They endure a lot to save lives
- Brushing their discomfort aside, doctors continue to serve Covid-19 patients in PPE suits for the past one-and-a-half years
- While taking care of the Covid-affected persons is one part of the health staff’s routine, answering queries of patients’ attendants and experiencing their ire is another challenge several doctors faced during the pandemic
Visakhapatnam: Ever slipped into an uncomfortable pair of clothes and ended up in it for hours without any complaints?
Well, doctors and healthcare workers do. Brushing their discomfort aside, they continue to serve Covid-19 patients in PPE suits for the past one-and-a-half years.
Thankfully, the positivity rate has come down to 3.2 per cent in the district now. But imagine the plight of the medical and health staff when the daily cases recorded more than 2,300.
For women, the level of discomfort is much higher as they cannot take a leak, change a sanitary pad even if it runs out of its capacity and there is no possibility of heaving a sigh of relief until the next doctor signs in for the shift.
On the eve of the National Doctors' Day, some of the women doctors share their ordeals they have come across while on duty. Explaining the challenges, an Assistant Professor working in a government hospital says, "Women have a different metabolism altogether compared to men. Drop in estrogen levels and stress related hormones lead to frequency in urination among women. In order to control the bladder, we need to avoid drinking water. This results in dehydration and related complications. The possible remedy for this is to bring down the shift timings from the present eight to six hours," she opines.
Recalling one of her worst experiences in the protective gear, another doctor says, "A few months before, a couple of hours into my shift, I realised that my monthly cycle had started. The worst part was I did not come prepared for it. Since doffing the PPE kit would take a minimum 45 minutes and that meant leaving the ICU patients unattended for the same length of time, I decided to continue in the unit while the bleeding trickled down the protective gear. It was extremely stressful and embarrassing. By the end of the shift, I had almost fainted," recollects the doctor.
While taking care of the Covid-affected persons is one part of the health staff's routine, answering
queries of patients' attendants and experiencing their ire is another challenge several doctors faced during the pandemic. "Work pressure will always be there, especially when our heads of the departments pass on their stress to us by assigning additional responsibilities. As if they were not enough, we need to face the music at home as well. Also, we have to deal with our own health issues, helplessness," laments the Assistant Professor.
She says that her worst experience was when she saw the death of five Covid patients on the same day one after the other.
At individual level, one can help lessen the burden on doctors by following Covid appropriate behaviour, getting inoculated and spreading community awareness about vaccination.