By M.T. Yogesh Kumar
Mysore/Mysuru: The ongoing pandemic, though extremely challenging for all, has especially been taking a toll on medical workers around the globe. Despite facing innumerable physical and psychological challenges, healthcare personnel are playing an indispensable role during this continued crisis.
A majority of the doctors serving in COVID Hospitals and healthcare facilities are post-graduate trainees who constitute a unique, vulnerable group of young doctors who are at the forefront of managing the COVID-19 patients in the middle of their training period.
In Mysuru, several young trainees between the age group of 23 to 25 have been put on duty at ‘COVID Mitra’ and interestingly they have come on voluntary service, displaying their professional commitment and dedication.
Over 35 young doctors who are in the intermediate and final year of their medical course have joined the fight along with 150 non-medical students.
They are assisting junior and senior doctors and some are independently handling responsibilities. These doctors are from all specialities including physiotherapy, dental, surgeries and others.
The ‘COVID Mitra’ established at Seth Mohandas Tulsidas Maternity Hospital on JLB Road by the District Administration is being independently managed by physiotherapist-to-be Dr. Swaroop S. Gaikwad.
He is pursuing his final year Physiotherapy from JSS Medical College. He will graduate in another three to four months and has been putting in long hours at Tulsidas Hospital.
When the second wave showed signs of peaking in Mysuru, Dr. Swaroop voluntarily worked in the War Room interacting with patients over phone. Now as the pandemic has reached alarming proportions, he decided to get on to the field as Mysuru required doctors and there was a dearth.
He is a resident of Vidyaranyapuram and his parents are Shivajirao Gaikwad and Shyamala S. Gaikwad. Speaking to Star of Mysore, Swaroop said that apart from stringent physical precautionary measures, doctors have to be mentally strong and full of positivity. “Many COVID patients who land up at ‘COVID Mitra’ will be emotional, despite being physically sound. They would have faced the social stigma attached to the disease and in most cases, family members would have stayed away from them. To counsel them, we need to be strong and prepared,” he said.
Counselling is a difficult part and many times, children are brought to ‘COVID Mitra’ by parents who weep at their condition.
“This makes the children lose mental strength and we have to fill in for parents and perform the role of a counsellor-cum-parent. If the oxygen saturation level is between 85 and 90 we give oxygen for them to recover. Even if some patients have a saturation level of 97, they plead for oxygen. These people come her out of fear and have become mentally weak after seeing reports of death and misery. We need to counsel them for them to realise that they are strong and they have not been affected by the disease,” Dr. Swaroop explained and added that physiotherapy plays an important role in treating patients.
Putting in best efforts
Another young doctor, who is a dentist Dr. B.S. Sanjana joined the mission to control COVID after she saw the news that the Mysuru City Corporation has invited volunteers for pandemic work. She is a resident of Srirampura and is the daughter of B.S. Srinath and H.S. Anupama. “I have been practicing in Mysuru since the last three years and during the lockdown last year, I stopped practicing and have got on to voluntary service as patients are desperate in need of help and Mysuru District needed doctors,” she said.
Before getting on to voluntary service, Dr. Sanjana got basic training from senior doctors on swab collection, triaging patients depending on the severity of the disease and prescribing medicines. “All medicines are given by us are prescribed by the doctors for symptoms like cold, fever and we tell patients to often clean their mouths so that the virus load is reduced. We tell them not to mix toothbrushes as there is a chance of virus spreading from the brush used by COVID-positive person,” she said.
Dr. Sanjana feels that she is doing her bit for the society in the time of crisis. “I feel proud to serve the people and during the service period, we have to be detached from family and I live in quarantine now,” she said.