A Mylapore PG medical student shares her experience treating Covid patients

Aparna. S (name changed), a 2nd year post-graduate medical student at a government-run medical college in the city and a resident of Mylapore says this past month has been quite challenging. And much of the challenges are posed in dealing with Covid patients.

For a young person, this long exposure to the pandemic time has made deep impressions. And she chose to share her experiences with Mylapore Times on the promise of anonymity.

Ever since the lockdown was announced, the work schedule has always been the same, she says.

Post graduate students put in one week of regular duty, one week of Covid duty and then go into quarantine for a week. They cannot go home during Covid duty and the week after. Arrangements are made to drop them off and pick them up . She has put in four weeks of Covid duty since March.

In March and April, all those who worked in the Covid ward and those who were under quarantine were put up in hostels nearby. From June, they have been put up at hotels.

Regular duty which was about 8 hours everyday in March and April has now increased to 12 hours. Covid duty however is for 6 hours only.

She says, “Once we adorn the PPE suits, we remove it only after we complete our rounds of the ward. That takes some time as each and every patient has to be carefully evaluated and the Covid ward can have more than 90 patients sometimes. As long as we are in the Covid ward we cannot eat or drink anything as it is not safe for us to remove the PPE suit. Once removed, the Covid suit has to be discarded.”

In the Covid ward, the patients are screened on a case by case basis and depending on the condition of the patients they are sent to different areas. Patients with severe symptoms are treated on the ground floor and the less severe on the next floor and so on.
Despite difficulties, Aparna says there is no other place she would rather be. Taking care of the sick is something that gives her immense satisfaction.

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