By Anagha Rajesh
In the wake of the current COVID-19 Pandemic that has swept across the globe, each one of us is struggling to cope with self-quarantine and the influx of terrifying data. In the midst of this crisis our health care professionals have emerged as true heroes- laboring tirelessly day and night to find a cure for the virus, treat patients and test potential patients. While we appreciate their efforts, it is our duty to ensure that they too enjoy good physical and mental health.
I reached out to a few healthcare workers from across the globe and encouraged them to share their experience of working their way through these challenging times.
An Epitome of Courage- Dr. Shaima Waseem
Dr. Shaima works as a doctor in the internal health department of the Al Ain Hospital in UAE. This hospital, located in the heart of the city of Al Ain was recently dedicated to the treatment of COVID-19 patients alone.
Working hours have become longer and more tiring for this shero and her team of doctors and nurses, in the wake of the pandemic. They work day and night looking into the conditions of several hundred patients suffering from critical cases of the virus attack. But her team of dedicated medics have never once thought of giving up.
She admits that she and her fellow medics work under highly stressful conditions. “Nobody in our team has yet displayed mental health issues largely due to our great team spirit”, she proudly remarks.
Al Ain Hospital offers occupational health services to assist healthcare professionals in coping with the current situation. The patients in isolation wards are offered the support of Psychology and Psychosocial support team to ensure that their mental health remains stable.
Dr. Shaima is highly appreciative of the community members in UAE who have volunteered to self-quarantine in order to help flatten the curve. She is optimistic that the global healthcare system will very soon be able to bring the pandemic under control.
Serving with a Smile- Emily David
Emily is a medical volunteer at the Sharp Grossmont Hospital, California, USA. She is assigned to a patient floor dedicated to people recovering from heart surgery. She restocks the supplies, helps organize medical records, and assists the nurses and patients.
She enjoys serving patients with a smile and offering support to the doctors. She believes that volunteering helps her boost her mental health. At the same time she is highly concerned about the plight of doctors and nurses in her country. They are faced with long work hours along with the stress of their jobs and expectation to perform well and know all the answers right away. According to Emily, the constant worry of being infected by COVID-19 and possibly spreading it to family members or friends is mostly likely taking a toll on the mental health of medical professionals and volunteers. “At this critical juncture, it is important to show our support to healthcare professionals and follow the necessary precautions to stay safe”, she says.
Emily offers a piece of advice to people who are currently quarantined either at hospitals or inside their homes. ‘Keeping spirits up and boredom away is very important. Stay in contact with friends and extended family through video chatting or phone calls. Experiment with new hobbies and activities such as puzzles, cooking, and reading’.