TIRUPATI: Fifty-two-year-old Madhavi Priya (name changed), head nurse in Padmavathi Covid Hospital, considers treating Covid-19 patients more of a service than duty. “It is a God-given opportunity to provide treatment to Covid patients. I don’t like to publicise the work I do,” she says with humility. She prefers to remain anonymous and not “boast”, as she put it, on the occasion of International Nurses Day in an interaction with TNIE.
With over 29 years of experience in rendering service to patients at SVIMS Hospital, Madhavi Priya admits that serving Covid patients is a challenging task for nurses. And most of the time, the nurses are unable to cope with work pressure as they are physically and mentally exhausted after their duty hours, she explains.
“Once we wear the PPE, we cannot even drink water and for seven long hours, we continue to remain in it. Due to this, we experience hypoglycaemia i.e., low blood sugar level due to continuous sweating inside the PPE and it is more difficult to go to toilet. Though we suffer all this, we happily render services to safely discharge Covid patients who pin their hopes on us.”
Madhavi Priya tested positive for coronavirus while treating Covid patients during the first wave of the pandemic. She resumed duty without hesitation after her recovery. Even after her brush with the virus, the head nurse and her colleagues are committed to fighting the pandemic and don’t expect anyone to highlight their services. With the surge in Covid cases during the second wave, on an average 150-200 nurses have been involved in rendering Covid services in three shifts round-the-clock at the Padmavathi State Covid Hospital on SVIMS premises.
Another young nurse Priyanka stays in a hostel room for fear of transmitting the virus to her family members. She has been working as a nurse on contract basis for the past 18 months. Now, she is treating Covid patients at SVIMS. Asked whether she has medical insurance provided by the government, the 23-year-old replies she has no idea. These nurses truly embody the spirit of selfless service.