The novel coronavirus, also known as COVID-19 according to the WHO is a new strain virus linked to the same family of viruses as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. This has currently been a global disease which has affected more than 200 countries and has been described as a pandemic.
MY ENCOUNTER WITH A SUSPECTED PATIENT
I reported to work on Monday the 30th of March 2020, for my usual night shift. As part of our nursing procedures, I took up the ward from the afternoon staff where a 72-year-old Madam P.O. was handed over to me being managed as a suspected case of COVID-19 and has therefore been isolated at the female ward with oxygen in-situ since her saturation is poor.
Her evening prescribed medications and supper had already been served and was doing well so there was basically nothing to do for her in the evening than closely observing her. I was also instructed by my supervisor to minimize contact with her and ensure to put on the appropriate PPEs before performing any procedure on her.
The next morning, I prepared her prescribed medications, got her breakfast from the kitchen and put on my appropriate PPEs of which my supervisor had already taught me how to put on as well as it removal.
Fear and anxiety gripped me as I went to her room in my ‘’bola size’’ gown.
To my utmost surprise her room was messy and smelly with everything scattered. Drops of blood spilt on the floor, dust bin full, bedside locker dirty and faeces spilt all over the Water Closet which was the worst part of all. The whole place looked unkempt as if nobody wanted to spend even 5 minutes in her room. This got me more scared as I quickly performed my nursing care.
The patient was very conscious, alert and cooperative which made communication much easier. I tidied up her room and left (spent about 45mins). With the help of my colleague nurse, I removed my PPE appropriately and with precaution, disinfected myself and did my documentations.
CONFIRMATION AS A POSITIVE PATIENT
On the 1st of April, 2020, when I got home from work, my supervisor called to inform me that the patient COVID-19 test result came POSITIVE and that she entreats me to self-quarantine for one week until my sample is taken and results released.
Immediately I became very tensed and nervous that I menstruated instantly. A whole lot started running through my mind as to whether I wore the PPES correctly or not, what if I have infected close friends and loved ones during my 12 hours contact with her? but I encouraged myself with the fact that, people are recovering so even if I get infected I will also recover.
I became more religious than ever before. On the 2nd of April, 2020, my sputum sample was taken to be screened. To God be the Glory, the result came NEGATIVE on the 5/04/2020. I resumed work with a sound mind and adhering to COVID-19 precautionary and preventive measures and in other not to contract the deadly virus.
Let’s all unite and fight and a whole unit for this too shall pass.
Do well to pray for all healthcare providers.
By: Joseline Adwoa Enchill | General nurse at International Maritime Hospital
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