As a clinical nurse, apart from assisting doctors, we often deal with many of our patients, managing their paperwork, scheduling appointments, preparing patients for their chemotherapy, and other related tasks.
Compared to pre-COVID-19 days, our workplace environment is slightly more tense than before. There was once when I was attending to my patient and I accidentally let out a sneeze due to my sinusitis. The patient got suspicious and left right after. On that particular day, I was not even able to finish the patient’s assessment. But I understand where they are coming from, considering the situation.
To ensure the safety of our patients, we have added several new protocols that have increased our per patient attendance time. For example, we are now required to sanitise the clinic at regular intervals. Before a patient is admitted, they are required to do the swab test at least one to two days prior. However, when the result comes back positive, we have to take immediate action and sanitise the entire clinic. Everyone, from doctors to nurses to admin staff, has to wear a face shield and mask at all times. This is especially difficult in the midst of procedures where communication is key and we have to talk constantly. But it is one of the most effective measures to keep us and our patients from being infected.
Personally for me, I had to exert extra caution while being at work as I have a history of asthma and sinusitis, placing me in the more susceptible group. But that has never broken my resolve to get to work on time. After all, we are working toward a bigger cause here.
Despite all this, I am grateful that our organisation sends us a cup of coffee every once in a while and some little treats to appreciate our efforts. Some of our patients also share their gratitude with a simple ‘thank you’. That is what keeps us going.