CEBUANO nurses are preparing themselves as they could soon be called for service as frontliners in the fight against the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19).
The number of cases is expected to rise now that the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) subnational laboratory has begun testing for the virus that causes it.
Though he is not yet alarmed by the number of Covid-19 cases in Cebu, private hospital nurse Jovenhnel Cuello said he is preparing himself by strictly observing precautionary measures especially at work.
“Our hospitals have also established a team that would specialize in treating Covid-19 patients and (those) suspected with Covid-19. So at the start, from emergency room, we are practicing stringent measures to give efficient care but not compromising our safety—ensuring ourselves with proper personal protective measures and minimizing exposure,” Cuello, who works for Chong Hua Hospital, told SunStar Cebu.
Some nurses like Phoebe Katte Dimol not only prepare for the physical aspects of dealing with potential Covid-19 patients, but the mental aspect as well.
“Personally, I have to prepare myself emotionally because I cannot allow my anxiety to hinder the care I deliver to my patients. I also had to prepare myself physically by having the adequate vitamins I need, especially Vitamin C,” Dimol said.
Aside from protecting herself from infection, Dimol had to practice precautionary measures to ensure that her loved ones don’t get infected as well.
Before entering her house, Dimol would have to take a bath first.
Dimol said her family often provides her emotional support, which often helps her as she tackles her duties as a healthcare provider.
But for nurses like 21-year-old Axl Alcomendras, the fear of getting infected is always in her mind.
Alcomendras said despite what may come as she and other healthcare providers would tackle this disease head-on, it is always good to be prepared.
Alcomendras is taking vitamins to boost her immune system.
Another nurse from a private hospital, who agreed to be interviewed on condition of anonymity, told SunStar Cebu that education and awareness among healthcare personnel are important to ensure that they can treat Covid-19 patients successfully without being affected themselves.
He urged hospital managers to support their frontliners including providing them hazard pay, free meals, PPEs (personal protective equipment), vitamins, vaccination and psychological support as a way to boost their morale.
He added that faith and peer support are also important in their job. / WBS