At the forefront: how immigrant doctors fight coronavirus in the USA
At the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare professionals around the world. These are people who endanger themselves for the sake of others. According to preliminary official statistics, 62 thousand American doctors, nurses and hospital workers caught the coronavirus. At the moment, nearly 300 of them have died. This is stated in the video "Voices of America".
Journalists talked with a Ukrainian employee of a medical center in the state of New Jersey, the second in the country in the number of patients and died from COVID-19.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, feeling crazy load, American hospitals have changed the format of their work. They closed to the press, visitors and regular patients, focusing all their efforts on helping and rescuing patients with COVID-19. Only now consultations have more or less stabilized. Health workers begin to talk about what they had to go through.
Jersey City is one of the largest cities in the state of New Jersey. The close proximity to Manhattan and the high population density contributed to the rapid spread of coronavirus in the city. Medical Center here is the only hospital with a capacity of 330 beds. Just a few days after the start of the epidemic, it was full. Ukrainian Valentina Tabaka, who has been working here for 6 years, says: the staff had to respond to these new challenges on the go. One of the first steps is to double the number of intensive care units.
“Of course, more workers were needed. We started to intubate a lot more people, we needed a lot of doctors, ”explains Valentina Tabaka, manager of the wound care department.
As the doctors and nurses in the intensive care unit and the emergency room were overloaded, the hospital created an emergency response team that went to where help was needed. Valentine led it. Very often this team worked in the front desk.
“As astronauts are dressed, we went there for several hours, sometimes for two, sometimes for three, we used to do the second round, if we were tired very much, and we just helped the nurses evaluate each patient,” Tabaka clarifies.
Valentina says that it was especially difficult for the first few weeks when the medical staff themselves did not understand what was happening and how they should respond to this new reality.
“The staff felt differently. In the beginning it was scary. When you come to the department, which is practically all isolated, you just live in it. Of course it was hard for everyone to breathe on themselves, these of our robes, they are plastic, you are all wet. We left the front desk and everything poured from us, ”says Valentina.
However, these physical tests of doctors and nurses cannot even be compared with psychological ones.
“The most difficult moment is to look at the nurses when they lose patients,” the heroine emphasizes.
Typically, a patient with COVID-19 is in intensive care for up to four weeks. Now, there are people in the wards who have been in intensive care for more than a month, and all the attention of nurses and doctors is riveted to their salvation.
“When we remove the patient from the ventilator, we have a great happiness, we have music playing here, we meet with applause from such patients, because they really went a very hard way,” concludes Tabaka.
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