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Local Nurse Shares What Work Is Like As A Covid-19 Medical Frontliner

Local Nurse Shares What Work Is Like As A Covid-19 Medical Frontliner

Tasneem Nazari

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While the rest of us are spending the movement control order (MCO) at home with our family, the country’s frontliners are working tirelessly in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. 

They work day and night to find and heal those who are sick, comfort the ones who will not make it through the infection, and keep the rest of us safe from the virus.

We spoke to Z, a 29-year-old registered nurse who had been working in a hospital in the Klang Valley since before the outbreak.

As a nurse, it was part of her job to care for all patients, regardless of their illness, and she was automatically assigned as a Covid-19 medical frontliner.

I am happy doing what I need to do to help the nation cope with this pandemic.

Z to TRP
Image for illustration purposes only. (Credit: Malay Mail)

When the outbreak began in the country, Z was attached to the Invasive Cardiovascular Laboratory. The department conducts all invasive procedures to the heart, such as coronary angiograms and angioplasty when someone is suspected or has a heart attack.

As these emergencies can happen anytime to anyone, Z and her team are prepared to handle such emergencies 24/7.

Usually, Z works the normal shifts at the hospital, 7am to 3pm or 3pm to 10pm, and after 10pm the oncall team will handle any procedures until 7am the following day. However, due to the Covid-19 virus, shifts aren’t as clear cut and she can be called into work at any time.

There are various shifts with different timings at the moment. Some lucky days we get to leave work early as currently due to the MCO there are not many cases.

Z to TRP

Z shared that since Covid-19, she’s at the hospital by 6.45am during her morning shifts and immediately gets to work checking on all the required equipment.

Image for illustration purposes only. (Credit: Malaysiakini)

At the hospital, nurses don’t have scheduled breaks for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Instead, they tend to take turns to eat so that there’s always someone present in case anything happens. If there’s time, Z will take her break for breakfast around 7.30am. 

We take turns among ourselves to have our lunch. But I must say sometimes we have to skip them too on a busy day.

Z to TRP

She knows work has started when she and her team start donning full personal protective equipment (PPE). Then, they start receiving patients and preparing the patients for the required procedures.

The hospital will screen all patients by getting them to fill out a form to assess their Covid-19 infection risk upon admission. After taking a look at the screening form, a doctor will decide whether a patient needs to be tested for the virus.

This is done to identify which patients need to be separated and is of utmost importance. If they aren’t separated, then they put all hospital staff and the other patients at risk.

Image for illustration purposes only. (Credit: New Straits Times)

If they lie during the screening process, then we are going into it blindly.

Z to TRP

Emergency cases always get first priority and treated immediately. If any of the emergency patients are also Covid-19 positive, they will be handled in the invasive cardiovascular lab (ICL) if needed, and Z and her teammates will have to don full PPE while treating and handling these patients.

If they need a procedure in my department, then we will proceed using full PPE like spacesuit [sic].

Z to TRP

They keep working like this throughout the day until it’s time to go home. Though, since the pandemic began, there is no fixed time to go home.

Z shares that she is very proud to be working as a nurse, and to be contributing to her team during this tough time.

Image for illustration purposes only. (Credit: Free Malaysia Today)

We are at work for you to stay home. So, please have faith for all of this to be over soon and stay safe with your loved ones. Sincere gratitude to all frontliners in battling this pandemic war.

Z to TRP

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