30 June 2021 | Views
Focusing on the mental health of doctors is crucial which will eventually provide the strength required for patients
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As with any emergent disease, there is always a sense of apprehension regarding the unknown. We have gone through multiple drug regimens and trials. We have added drugs, taken them off, repurposed and reintroduced them. But since the beginning of the pandemic, the importance of COVID appropriate behaviour has been reiterated multiple times. And this is our only way forward. The natural course of the infection cannot be prevented, but we need to take the responsibility of limiting the spread into our hands.
There has been no change in our protocols on the management nor the prevention of COVID. Because we are not afforded that luxury. The minute we drop our guard, this invisible foe surges ahead. Vaccinations are the topmost priority. All ages who have been approved, should go ahead and get vaccinated as soon as possible. We have been trying to counsel and encourage people to do the same. Vaccinating 1.3 billion people is a huge goal, so in the time being, we have to follow all covid appropriate behaviours to the T.
We have become more vigilant in screening patients for covid. Every and all symptoms are scrutinised keeping covid in mind. More Nasopharyngeal Swabs for RT PCR are being prescribed. Non-emergent surgeries are discouraged, and relatives are cautioned against accompanying the patients unless they have a negative report. Proper screening of OPD patients with prior appointments is being done.
Strict PPE protocols are being followed with social distancing in common areas. Constant vigilance especially in cases of children as we are expecting more cases to come up. Awareness regarding the new variants, their characteristics and common presentations are being constantly disseminated amongst the medical community. Full-fledged public awareness campaigns regarding any new symptoms and populations that could be affected have been put into effect.
Amidst all this, we are mentally gearing ourselves for this challenge. Focusing on our mental health in this time so that we can provide the strength that is required for our patients. At the end of the day, I wish I could end this on a positive note but I’m unable to. All I can do is urge people to put their masks up, get their shots and stay away from each other. With all our combined efforts, I hope we don’t get caught in the eye of the storm.
Dr Janu Santhosh Kumar, Resident - Department of Internal Medicine, Jaslok Hospital