Covid-19 has affected the entire population around the world. The world has suffered immensely, and huge loss of lives has been reported due to the pandemic.
However, the nurses have always been on the forefront to help and provide assistance to the Covid-19 patients. The most endearing images of the Covid-19 pandemic has been that of nurses in PPE kits, keeping round-the-clock vigil in Intensive Care Units around the world and providing critical care to those in isolation and away from loved ones.
Many times, at their own peril many nurses have been tested positive and struggled to survive but have continued to battle the pandemic spiritedly.
These nurses had to keep away from their families, put in over 12 hours of work in challenging situations. They have worked silently and selflessly, bringing relief to the overwhelming patient load.
Officer In-charge Nursing Administration and Assistant Nursing Superintendent, SKIMS Soura, Haseena Sofi, has been associated with Covid responsibilities since December last year.
Nurses play a major duty regarding dealing with this pandemic because they are the backbone of the healthcare system.Â
Â Haseena said without nurses, patient care is impossible.Â
â€œWhen a patient tests positive for Covid-19, their family members are supposed to distance themselves from them and at that time, it is the nurses who take care of the patients and support them,â€ said Haseena.
She said, â€œin many cases they even have fed the Covid-19 positive patients. In early days of pandemic there was stigma towards the Covid-19 positive patients, they were regarded as untouchables even by their own family members, but it was the nurses during that time as well who never shunned away from their duties, supported and cared for the positive patients.â€
Many nurses got infected with the Covid-19 infection due to continuous Covid duty but regardless of that they were available round the clock for patient care.Â
Haseena said it is the nurses who have the most physical interaction with patients like checking the temperature and taking care of their medication.
Â â€œIt is teamwork along with doctors; we all are on the front lines of this battle against Coronavirus round the clock. We leave our families but when we are at the hospital the patients are our family,â€ said Haseena.
Â She said for many patients, nurses are the only family that they know during their stay in the hospital.
Â Haseenaâ€™s major role is staffing, she is responsible for getting the optimal number of nurses.
Â â€œI decide which ward or patients a certain nurse gets, I prepare the roster, manage nursesâ€™ food and accommodation in the hostel, making rounds and making sure that everything is up to standard is my duty,â€ said Haseena.
Â Haseenaâ€™s official duty timing is 9 to 5, but it is a round the clock job for her.
Â â€œSometimes I arrive early and some days I leave late, and such is the nature of my job, there is no specific timing as many times I come back late in the evening for rounds, and I have to be available on call 24x7,â€ said Haseena.
Â Hailing from District Anantnag, Haseena is mostly away from home, but she considers the nursing staff and the patients as her family. Haseena sees herself as a mother of her young team members.
Â â€œThe day I entered the nursing profession these people became my family,â€ said Haseena.
Â She said, "Our work is in the service of humanity and that is the biggest source of our happiness.â€
Â Haseena herself contracted the virus twice.
â€œMy husband and I caught the virus twice and we were both symptomatic, but we managed it through home quarantine. My oxygen saturation was low, we consulted the doctors, and everything was managed from within home only,â€ said Haseena.
Â She said there is hardly anyone in the nursing staff who was not infected by the virus.
Â â€œMost of the families of nurses have tested positive, but they still are undeterred and have continued their work after recovering and will continue to do so, no matter how many times we catch the virus,â€ she said.
Â She regards this pandemic as a world war and her team members as soldiers.
Now that there is relaxation in the Corona Curfew, Haseena appealed to the people to take all necessary precautions.
Â â€œThe virus is still there and is not to be taken casually. The people who know how devastating this virus are those who have lost someone or have someone on the death bed,â€ said Haseena.
Â â€œMy request to people is to please follow the SOPs, do not rush to markets when they open, keep your house ventilated, if there is a Covid positive patient in the family, strictly follow SOPs when going near them, and always wear a mask when going outside.â€
â€œDo not take this virus lightly. Always keep sanitizing your hands, do not go out of the house unnecessarily, maintain social distance. When outside your home, maintain a positive outlook,â€ she said.
Amina vaccinates over 2000 people
Amina Bashir is one of those health workers who have worked vigorously for the well-being of people during the pandemic time.
Working as a Female Multi-Purpose Health Worker (FMPHW) at PHC Brane Srinagar, Amina has faced various challenges amid Covid-19 but has fearlessly overcome the hurdles.
Being a high-risk patient herself, it was difficult for Amina to manage between her health and taking care of the Covid-19 positive patients.
â€œI tested positive for the deadly virus in September last year and it was very difficult for me to control my blood sugar level which kept fluctuating after I contracted the virus,â€ said Amina.
Â â€œMy mother-in-law also tested positive for the virus even after I took necessary precautions,â€ said Amina.
She said, â€œI will not meet my family until I take a bath and get changed into clean clothes.â€
Amina is the main vaccinator at the health centre who has vaccinated more than 2000 people.
â€œMy major role in the pandemic has been vaccinations and keeping the vaccination records for future references,â€ said Amina.
Besides these additional duties Amina continues her actual work which is routine Immunization.
â€œAfter the outbreak of the pandemic, we do routine immunization on Wednesdays and Saturdays every week,â€ she said.
Amina said it was hard for her to convince people to get vaccinated.
â€œPeople have very little knowledge about the vaccine and whenever they come for vaccination they keep asking about the efficacy of the vaccine,â€ said Amina.
Amina apart from having good rapport with the people, makes them aware about the importance of vaccination.
â€œBeing able to provide this life-saving vaccine to patients that I have a long-time relationship with has been so rewarding, it gives me inner peace,â€ said Amina.
Amina believes one positive outcome of this pandemic has been working with a team.
She said being able to do this work feels like making a real difference.
â€œWhat better hope can we give to the people than this life-saving vaccine. This will certainly make a positive difference in their mental health as well.â€