The Plight of Nurses, Doctors and Health-workers
Nurses are angels send by Gods. Doctors are considered equivalent to Gods because they bring lives into the world and they save lives from leaving. It is said that hospitals hear more prayers than Churches. Imagine the number of prayers the Gods heard during the past few months. And for once Nurses, Doctors and Health-workers were all collectively helpless while trying their best to do what they could. Especially in countries where the Coronavirus hit hard; China, USA, Italy, Spain etc the doctors have been reeling out of helplessness.
Do you know what the problem of our educational system has been? We have been taught to deal with questions that have predefined answers for a major part of our growing years, while life is nothing like that in reality. You need to find your own answers and you’ll never know if your answer was right.
I cannot begin to fathom the different kinds of cases that would have arrived at the hospitals. Imagine a situation where so many patients coming in at the same time that there aren’t enough medics or resources to attend to all those patients. The treatment cannot be given on first come first save basis for obvious reasons. The goals should be to save maximum number of lives within a short span. If there’s an 80 year old, a 35 year old and a child with premedical condition who are all gasping for breath and there’s only one ventilator, whom should they give it to? If a 90 year old is on ventilator and a much younger patient with a higher rate of survival is brought in, in a critical condition, do they deprive the 90 year old of the ventilator?
So who will it be; a person with underlying health condition or an old healthy person? How will you decide when the choice is between two risky cases? The people who spent years learning how to save lives, now have to pick and choose the lives they can save. While they save a life, they’re consciously letting someone die because they have no choice. Imagine, the pain going into making that choice.
In UK, the recovery area of a hospital has been transformed to deal with Covid-19 patients. In fact many parts of the hospital have been transformed and the medics have been seeing an in-flow of people like never before. The normal requirement for oxygen cylinders was way lesser than what was required as a result of Covid 19 and some of the hospitals were struggling to meet this demand.
The gears that the medics wear are extremely uncomfortable. They cannot wear it for more than 2-3 hours as they could get severe headaches, and their mouths go dry. In fact several doctors and nurses have shared the pictures of their scarred faces because the masks have been cutting deep into their skin. The gears are the only shields between them and the disease. We hear all kinds of news; in some places the quality of the gear given is poor, while in some places there are no gears available because the common people decided that they needed these gears to protect themselves from the virus. The shortage of gears is a genuine problem everywhere. In Kolkata, junior doctors were given raincoats to examine patients. In Haryana, several doctors refused to treat patients without getting enough safety equipment. Right now as I write this, India has close to 11,900 cases and if lack of equipment is an issue here, imagine the condition of countries with Lakhs of cases! [Source: India Today]
Life at home isn’t easy for these Doctors either. The ones who go home have made arrangements to not use the facilities that their family uses to ensure that their family isn’t at risk. Some live in their basements. They cannot get in close proximity with their children. There are others who choose not to go home and stay in the hospital facility. They cannot really differentiate between day and night. Some of them reach their rooms at the end of the day and just collapse. They wake up and then go back to saving lives. Imagine not knowing if you’ll ever go back to your family. Imagine not knowing when your loved ones will come back home. Imagine fearing for their lives as they save so many lives! The Doctors are literally nothing short of soldiers right now!
When a patient who is positive is quarantined, the families won’t be able to visit them. Depending upon the place and the case, sometimes a member is allowed to go in wearing the protective gear. But there are cases where the patients die without having their loved ones near them. Some nurses, knowing the value of human presence during the last moments, try to make their last moments easier for them by being with them. It isn’t practical always, as there are so many patients to be taken care of. But they try and all this takes an emotional toll on them.
It isn’t surprising when the nurses, doctors and health workers themselves go into panic attacks at times. It is only understandable. They worry about the patients, about their colleagues and the ones they Love. While we have a choice to stay at home and be safe, that is a luxury they don’t have. They have to go head on into the disease itself!
Featured Image Courtesy : Alarmy Photos