All of us are baffled everyday thinking about the rising Covid-19 cases, people suffering with despair and hospitals getting influxed with patients. But do we anytime acknowledge the relentless service, especially during this pandemic times given by the nurses in the hospitals? During the times when a family member themselves feared taking care of another ailing family member, it was these warriors who stood with the patients. These nurses have helped us fight this war against the Covid-19, and on this International Nurses Day, we bring to you the stories of these nurses from Vizag.
Since the pandemic took an uncontrollable stance, all of us have witnessed news reports of patients complaining and blaming the nurses for not taking care of the patients health. Come what may, or be it any situation they face every day, only the nurses are the ones who come back with a smile on their face and selflessly pray for the patient’s recovery. Coming in direct contact with a deadly infection and working for about 6 to 12 hours on Covid-19 duty, many nurses say that lack of sufficient staff at the government hospitals is making them work for extra hours. At many hospitals, due to lack of sufficient nurses, the available staff need to do four shifts instead of three shifts, forcing them to be on duty for more than 6 hours in PPE kits.
In remembrance of the Birth anniversary of the legendary nurse Florence Nightingale and on this International Nurses Day, Yo! Vizag brings to you some of the stories of nurses in Vizag hospitals who are fighting against Covid-19.
For V Suryakantham, staff nurse at Government Regional Eye Hospital in Vizag, wearing a PPE kit for 6 hours continuously in a day is itself a tough job but she feels it is her responsibility to protect herself from Covid-19, so that her family is safe at home. “We need to be in the PPE kit at a stretch for six hours as we would provide food and monitor patients’ condition every minute. Especially for critical patients, we should work without rest because no one knows what happens the next moment if we neglect such cases. I fortunately did not get affected by Covid-19 but my colleague did. Still they have no fear, they come back after 14 days and join their duty”, said Suryakantham. For nurses working on Covid-19 cases duties, everyday is a challenge and they in fact get prepared to face any kind of wail lashed out by the patients. “Every morning we get on duty, we are lamented by the patients but we clearly explain their present state of health and ways to seek a speedy recovery. There are patients who do not keep their Oxygen mask regularly, in spite of repeated reminders, and we get stressed and feel home sick of repeating it several times. No matter how many times they react, we continue to put on a smiling face, just to ensure everything is going on well”, she added.
Many nurses who have completed their nursing last year, are currently on Covid-19 duties in Vizag. Living away from their families, they are struggling to fight against the Covid-19 to free this nation from this dangerous virus. “I have been on Covid-19 duty since last month and as the cases increased, the stress levels for every nurse has increased proportionally. Working for three shifts in a day, I can take any shift in a week, but the night shift. Staying for 12 hours in PPE kit during night shifts sometimes worries us when this pandemic will come to an end”, said L Santosh Kumari, nurse at VIMS, Srikakulam. Staying away from her family, who stay in Bobbili, she along with other nurses stay in the hostel provided at the hospital. “We cannot go back home during the Covid duties as our families will be affected. After two months of our duty, we take a Covid-19 test and only after testing negative, we are permitted to go back home”, Santosh Kumari said.
For a staff nurse at a Government Hospital, serving patients is the happiest job. “We do not need to pray to God everyday, because invariably we get all the blessings and good health by serving these patients everyday. A friendly staff atmosphere and cooperation amongst the staff in treating the patients keeps each of us stress free during duty”, said the nurse. Staying in a separate room upstairs for hours, she cooks for herself everyday and stays away from her family. “Staying away from the family is a painful thing but, when I see patients suffering with Covid-19 and being away from their families and few others dying leaving their children as orphans, I feel it is better to stay isolated for sometime so as to keep my children and elderly at home safe from Covid-19”, she added.
“Our profession is to serve people, no matter how hard it is, we put our complete efforts to serve the patients. But with the fast spread of virus during this pandemic, there has been an increase in cases and their health conditions are getting worse with the days. When we see critical cases getting admitted at their last moment, we try our best but sometimes are unable to help them”, said K Kusuma, staff nurse at CSR block, King George Hospital. For Kusuma who was tested positive in the last year , all her family members too had tested positive. “We all nurses have that fear inside while being in Covid-19 duty. Our health conditions and about our family, are a matter of concern, but it is only we the nurses who could work as a team to make the Covid-19 patients go home with a smiling face”, Kusuma added.
From Yo! Vizag Desk, we salute all the nurses with utmost gratitude on this International Nurses Day.