At 5 p.m. on March 22, Sunday, people in residential areas, houses and high-rises clapped, banged their utensils and blew the Shankh, breaking the silence during the Janata Curfew. The citizens of the country stood up in solidarity, to show their appreciation to the healthcare professionals, who have been fighting a lone battle against the coronavirus or COVID-19.
Day in day out, they have been performing their duties, despite the incredible odds, while many of us have the privilege to work from the comfort of our homes.
For these healthcare ‘warriors’, it is just another day at their workplace. For instance, 14 Italian tourists who were diagnosed with coronavirus two weeks ago are now undergoing treatment at Medanta Hospital, Gurugram.
Dr. Sushila Kataria, an internal medicine specialist at the Hospital, is in charge of treating these 14 patients until they recover from this deadly virus. When it comes to such cases, the organisation is taking utmost care to ensure that their workers don’t get infected in the course of their work at the hospital.
Manoj Gupta, senior vice president and head-HR, Medanta, shares the much-needed measures offered to their hospital workers, “At Medanta, the health and safety of our employees, patients, patient attendees/relatives, vendors and visitors is our highest priority. We have always been an infection-control and patient-safety focused hospital. However, some of the additional steps being taken are, awareness and training, cleaning and sanitising, sterilising, limiting the number of visitors, preventing big gatherings and much more.”
While on the one hand, given the concerns around the spread of coronavirus, there are complaints from doctors and patients regarding the hygiene levels at hospitals, Medanta Hospital, Gurugram, on the other hand, is breaking all barriers and ramping up its commitment towards ensuring a hygienic and safe-at-work environment.
Internal hygiene measures
When it comes to extreme hygiene measures, Medanta has ensured proper cleaning and sanitising of its workers. “We already use one per cent sodium hypochlorite for environment cleaning, which is done in all areas multiple times a day. In addition, we have increased cleaning of door handles and knobs with one per cent sodium hypochlorite. We have also increased the frequency of cleaning of public toilets and all of them are steam cleaned at night. Further, we have improved focus on surface cleaning, including cleaning of all telephones with sodium hypochlorite solution. Workers can augment this cleaning by using a small amount of alcohol sanitiser on a tissue to clean keyboards, desktops, and so on, before and after their work,” explains Gupta.
At Medanta, the health and safety of our employees, patients, patient attendees/relatives, vendors and visitors is our highest priority
At Medanta, the doctors have been repeatedly instructed on how to maintain hygiene, the right technique of hand washing and the moments of washing hands with soap. All linen and F&B items are washed in automatic machines at the highest temperatures, to ensure that even infected linen is 100 per cent sanitised and disinfected. The hospital has high-end equipment and practices in place. Hand sanitisers are kept at all entry points and also near attendance punching machines.
“We encourage all staff to sanitise their hands while entering and exiting the premises,” shares Gupta.
Clearly, the situation is challenging. But for Gupta, apart from the clinical challenge, the biggest test is that of allaying the anxiety and fear of the near and dear ones of the hospital workers. While hospital staff are keeping up with the increasing demand for medical care amid such chaos, the bigger question is, ‘How are these workers kept motivated towards their work?’
In Gupta’s own words, the doctors and clinical staff are professionals, who understand their role towards patients, in general, and society at large. Our staff has shown tremendous professionalism, commitment and resilience during these testing times.
The clinical staff at Medanta have an ethical consensus that prima facie, the duty of healthcare workers is to work, because of everything that has been invested in them. They realise that they are in a unique position, where they cannot be replaced by just anybody. The society looks up to them to serve this function, and because they chose this profession, they are expected to work.
It is incredible to see how these hospital warriors at Medanta are keeping up with the demand for medical attention and offering immediate care to the ones who have tested positive. In the wake of the coronavirus in India, and with panic gripping the entire nation, these measures and precautions undertaken by Medanta, Gurugram will reduce the chances of the healthcare workers getting infected. After all, they are the ones fighting this battle from the front and dealing directly with the patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.