Hospitals in Cape Town, notably Groote Schuur Hospital and Tygerberg Hospital recently launched campaigns to celebrate and to give appreciation to ordinary heroes who are inspiring others during the Covid-19 pandemic. Here are a few of their stories..
Right: Tygerberg Hospital’s Rehana Maseti, is proud to be a caregiver to critically ill patients, helping them to manage their physical needs, and to follow their progress, and keeping their best interest at heart. As a Registered Nurse in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Rehana’s job extends beyond the administration of medication, because she is responsible for the holistic care of patients and to maintain patients’ dignity throughout treatment and care. Providing support and comfort and to see patient’s condition improving gives her satisfaction, she says, who lives in Parow East. “I work in a surgical ICU where we admit and discharge post-operative critical care patients, and also receive patients from trauma and other surrounding hospitals that needs critical care, like life support. I am responsible for closely observing patients, to provide accurate assessments and to monitor patients progress. My work is also to monitor vital signs, ensuring proper function of life support equipment and to attend to patient overall needs like medication intake, feeding and bathing. I work with a multi-disciplinary team to provide quality care and provide guidance to fellow nursing assistants. As an ICU nurse, I also assist doctors in invasive procedures, resuscitate unstable patients, help them with physical assessment and administer treatment. Providing support to patients family and by answering questions about patients progress is part of my job.”
Left:Russel Stubbs works as an Administration Clerk in the Finance Department at Groote Schuur Hospital. With 35 years of service at the Hospital, Russel has had to adapt to the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, he worked as a case manager in the medical aid section and was then deployed to the Corona testing centre on 20 March. “The change for me has been easy since I am still doing what I love just in a different area. Although it is in the front line, I feel safe. I have discussed this change with my wife, who is a nurse, and we agreed I can go ahead and make that difference,” explains Russel. Patient care is what motivates him to come to work and make a difference in the fight against Covid-19 and having colleagues whom uplift him every day.
Right: Tygerberg Hospital’s Dr Jack Meintjes, says he is inspired by the positive gestures from colleagues who, throughout the pandemic, have shown their appreciation and for the hard work everyone is executing at the hospital. Dr Meintjes has worked at Tygerberg Hospital for 15 years and is viewed as an astute specialist in occupational medicine. As Head of the Unit for Infection Prevention and Control, he has been assisting the hospital and other facilities in the province in preparing for and dealing with the pandemic. “It has been very challenging and there were many sleepless nights we worked on policies, procedures and practices to protect our staff and patients against infections. From an occupational health point of view, we have been actively assisting in identifying colleagues who may be vulnerable to develop serious infection and to advise on their roles in the hospital.”
Left: Amelia Rogers is a Control Officer in the Environmental Hygiene Services at Groote Schuur Hospital. Amelia (45), who lives in Grassy Park, started her career at Groote Schuur Hospital as a cleaner, and will this year be celebrating 10 years of service at the institution. She says she enjoys coming to work as the staff are always willing to assist each other to make things easier for each other. In addition, she appreciates the support from her direct managers for their guidance during the Covid-19 pandemic. According to Amelia, the EHS have had to adjust as to how wards are cleaned during the pandemic. “Staff who are vulnerable to Covid-19 had to be moved to other wards and others were needed in the Covid-19 wards. In this time, there is more pressure on staff to make sure the areas are Covid-19 clean. This includes the waste and linen used in the Covid-19 wards and therefore, terminal cleaning takes place all the time. Staff are thus more responsible and willing to make that difference. Wearing the correct PPE (personal protective equipment in the wards also vital,” she adds.
Right: Develin Basson is an Administration Clerk at Groote Schuur Hospital. For the past four years, he has worked in the hospital’s assets management unit, which oversees all assets at the hospital. Doing stock-taking, accepting new stock, disposing old stock and moving stock is the primary work done in my department, says Develine (24), who lives in Manenberg. “During Covid-19 our priorities have had to change in terms of what we do. Everyone had to contribute in the department prioritising wards that were normal wards but had to be converted to become Covid-19 wards. So far, our team has converted 17 wards at the hospital. Moving equipment into the new wards and making it Covid-19 safe is part of the contribution that our department has had to do.”
Left: Jacques Vosloo (53) works in the Linen Management Services at Groote Schuur. As the Principal Linen Supervisor, Jacques and his team must ensure linen arrives in hospital areas on time. “We need to ensure that the correct quantities are distributed. Different areas have different needs. Since Covid-19, the needs in areas have changed. We now have Covid wards that all need personal protective equipment (PPE). There has been an increase of 70% in linen usage in the hospital. When patients move into different areas or even for an x-ray, they need new linen. Some patients would use about three sets of linen per day. The same quantity can apply to staff because they move between wards and would need new PPE in another area.” Jacques, who lives in Lotus River with his two children and wife, has been working at the Hospital for four years. What appreciates him to come to work is he now realise that linen services are vital during this time and “I am making this difference daily”.
And…More heroes are the staff members at Helderberg Hospital who celebrated a patient’s birthday on 15 July 2020. A very joyful Ms Wilhelmina Williams turned 65 years old. She was admitted to the hospital on 13 July 2020 after contracting COVID-19. Hospital staff members went all out to make her feel special on her birthday. (Below)