For someone handling the responsibility of the Medical Emergency and Advanced Trauma Centre at PGIMER, Chandigarh, a day at work is anything but predictable.
And due to the coronavirus pandemic, the last six months have proved to be a both a new learning and challenging experience for Dr Raman Sharma, Assistant Professor, Department of Hospital Administration, as he worked out new strategies and schedules to ensure seamless coordination for effective and smooth operations at the institute and care for patients.
“We can never work in isolation and it is all a team effort. For the last few months, we have received constant guidance from our seniors to prepare ourselves to deal and face an unknown situation. Covid-19 introduced a brand-new dimension to our work in the Emergency, which is really the face of the hospital– one that is constantly dealing with a lot of pressure on every front and also a large number of patients. While attending to patients and providing them first aid, each patient had to go through a Covid test, which required quick decision making, involvement of various departments and depending on the result, shifting the patient to the NHE and then providing treatment,” shared Dr Sharma, who did his MD in Hospital Administration from PGIMER.
“Initially, we felt a lot of pressure, but the field of hospital administration prepares you for crisis situations, and the need of the hour is to keep your cool, follow guidelines and deal with issues with clarity. Initially, there was a lot of stigma attached to the disease, which made it tougher for patients, but now I think, many of us know we have to live with it. All we can do now is be safe, protect ourselves and others,” he added.
He agreed that doctors, who are in the middle of it all, are concerned about the safety and health of their families, but the only way is out to take all protective measures, avoid exposure, wear masks and wash hands.
“We cannot avoid overcrowding in emergency and trauma. The only option is to be cautious. I have been quarantined and tested also, but the result was negative and so far, we all are working together to ensure the best for our patients, no matter what the challenge.”
Dr Sharma is also responsible for handling the bodies of people who had tested positive for the virus, and he agreed that mortuary management is a sensitive matter and does take an emotional toll on him.
With many fears attached to the disease, Dr Sharma said for many whose loved ones had passed on, it was a traumatic experience, as many felt they should not touch the body, come close to it and counselling them was a part that he took over.
“There are protocols about how to handle the body, which are followed very strictly, and our first concern is the correct identification of the body, making sure it is wrapped properly and sanitised. The Administration has provided us a vehicle to take the body to the crematorium, with the Red Cross and our health workers giving their best.”
As for what we can expect in the coming weeks in regards to Covid-19, Dr Sharma said prevention is better than cure, and this is the time to be extra cautious, wear masks, wash hands, and avoid crowding to check the spread of disease.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines