A day in the life of a health care worker in the time of Covid-19

My heart goes out to all the health care workers. Our health care workers need all the support. They are the frontliners in taking care of patients affected by COVID-19 disease. I would never know what our doctors, nurses, and other workers do inside the hospital. Let me share to you the post of an ICU nurse in a local hospital in Metro Manila.

A sneak peak to what we frontliners in the hospital face every day… the adrenaline rush, anxiety, realizations, hunger pangs and the small victories we share within the health care team.

1. Social-distancing/ house arrest: minsan na-iingit rin kami sa mga nagstastay sa bahay, yung mga nakakapagtik-tok , yung mga nakakatulog ng mahaba or yung nakakasama yung pamilya. Pero We, health care workers, made an oath… to serve the people… and so we are called to fight this war.

2. Mainit sa loob ng suit. Para siyang jumpsuit na pang astronaut tapos marami pang layers on top. Imagine pano if you have to pee. Sobrang hassle. Buti na lang nakapagbladder training ako lol

3. When all is said and ‘DON’, hirap huminga kapag suot mo na lahat ng PPE mo. Dito mo maappreciate ang deep breathing exercises haha! Akala ko nung una ko siyang sinuot matritrigger ang asthma ko. CO2 retention p more lol

4. Hindi na kami nagkakakitaan because of the face shield kasi nag’fofog’ madalas. We have to write our names at the back of our suit para mabilis namin maidentify ang isa’t isa. tawagin na lang kaya namin ang isa’t isa ng comrade!

5. Thankful kami sa hospital namin kasi kumpleto pa kami ng PPE. Paano na lang yung mga kapwa namin health care workers na iniistretch na lang ang mga gamit na meron sila. Our resourcefulness can only do so much. We need and deserve the support coming from the government.

6. Sa amin, it is considered a luxury kung makainom ka man lang ng tubig during the duration of our 8-12 hours shift in the ICU. You have to go out of the unit and remove all your PPE’s and don it again. It would consume a lot of time which may compromised the care to our patients.

7. Masakit tangalin yung N95 mask sa face after mo siyang suotin ng almost 12 hours a day. Magmamarka talaga ito sa mukha mo kahit makauwi ka na sa bahay. But we need this to protect ourselves.

8. We celebrate the littlest of things like if nagimprove yung O2 saturation or respiratory rate ng patient. Kapag na-proprone position namin sila ng maayos or kapag nasisimulan na sila mawean off sa mechanical ventilator.

9. We win as one. Dahil naka-isolate yung unit namin, lahat ng kailangan namin na gamit nasa loob na. Minsan mahirap kumontact sa ‘outside’ world kasi ang bawat procedure/kukunin may special handling. Kapag may nangyari sa loob ng unit, wala ka masyado mapupullout from other unit kasi as much as possible, limit ang ieexpose sa mga covid cases. Teamwork is a must!

10. Pagkatapos mapagod sa duty, iintindihin pa namin kung paano kami uuwi. Maglalakad ba? Magbibicycle? Magtatayo na lang ba ng tent? Maswerte kami na maituturing kasi may mga bus/vans na provided ang aming institution. Papaano na lang yung mga wala… My heart goes to all frontliners ‘walking’ the extra smile to serve our country.

11. Nakakataba ng puso kapag may natatangap kami na pagkain, supplies or kahit letters/messages of encouragement. Hindi niyo lang alam kung gaano naapektuhan ang morale namin sa mga panahong ito. Kaya shout out sa lahat ng tumutulong/handang tumulong para matawid natin ang unos na ito.

12. Madalas tinatanong namin sa isa’t isa kung hangang kelan kaya itong pandemic na ito. People might see us posing in front of the camera, smiling behind our masks pero sa totoo lang, kinakabahan rin kami na baka mahawa kami or mauwi namin sa pamilya namin. Pero laban lang! Kakayanin!

Kaya for now, sorry for the NCOV-ENIENCE!

If you don’t want to see what we fully do in the ICU, Don’t take this virus lightly and please do STAY AT HOME. Do PROPER hand washing. Be TRUTHFUL with regards to your symptoms/medical and travel history.

Please pray for us and pray for the patient’s speedy recovery.

We will win this fight!

“For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal, declared the Lord” -Jeremiah 30:17

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BlogWatch receives the “Best Story” Award for the First Data Journalism PH 2015 from the Open Knowledge Foundation and Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism  for their story on “Aid Monitoring: Citizens’ Initial Efforts in the Wake of Typhoon Yolanda” . Forbes Philippines also received the same award.

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