KOCHI: “It’s extremely risky and stressful to be on the frontline every day but nurses are meant to take challenges and our duty is to care for our patients, be it Covid or something else,” says Sushama T L, a staff nurse at Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital. Despite suffering from comorbidities, the 42-year-old fights the virus bravely, even while she is at risk of developing an infection.
Sushama agreed to talk to TNIE after her Covid duty hours at the casualty ward. “It’s difficult staying in the PPE kits at a stretch for five to six hours. Even though we try hard, it’s impossible to care for every patient at the ward or ICU. There are just too many of them. We cannot spend more time with a patient because we have to cover everyone,” says Sushama, who hails from Kachani. Sushama has been lucky to not catch Covid so far.
“I live with diabetes and have two children at home. I have to protect myself for my family’s sake. Around 300 nursing staff at MCH and SAT hospital tested positive for Covid. I never let my guard down because I know if I get infected, I might become critically ill. I eat lunch alone and make sure that nobody is around when I remove my mask. When on Covid duty, I don’t have big meals for lunch. I normally carry a banana or a small snack,” shares Sushama, who started her career 14 years ago.
According to her, the hospital is overwhelmed and needs more resources to manage the caseload.
“MCH wards are almost full and there are no bystanders. We are managing with very limited staff. There needs to be more resources, or patient care will be compromised,” Sushma warns.