Valentine’s Day 2020
Hearts Of Gold
Hearts & kisses: Welcome to Week 2 of DORSCON Orange which kicks of with Valentine’s Day! This was a most unusual Valentine’s Day, happening in a period where DORSCON Orange Is The New Black. For a start, my gifts were from strangers in the community and my Valentines were my healthcare colleagues.
On the eve of Valentine’s Day, a group of kind mothers got together and contacted me via a mutual friend. Not only did they visit with an enormous card with good wishes for my colleagues, they even sent treats. These treats included bubble tea (yay!), sunflowers and snacks, perfect for our night shift.
Driving Ms Sunflower
Positive vibes continued when a Gojek driver accepted my order despite it stating I was going to a hospital. With recent public shunning of healthcare professionals, I’m now very grateful for small things like that. A crisis can do that to you, I’m told. As my daughter helped load sunflowers into the car, I kept thanking the driver just for showing up. When we made it to KKH where young doctors helped unload the treats, we all posed for a photo with the hero of the hour, this kind driver, Norhisham.
You Have My Heart; I Have Your Back
My Healthcare Team
As night duty progressed, we trudged through midnight. And so it was Valentine’s Day. Whom did I spend Valentine’s Day with? Of course, there was my core team of doctors who were delighted with the bubble tea from @winnies.sg. We also shared the treats & sunflowers from @7pmbloom with our nurses. Not a lot of people know this but we rely so much on nurses to get things done. Although we celebrate Nurses’ Day every year, they should be thanked everyday. When we had a quiet moment, my juniors & I delivered sunflowers to the rest of the team. You might be wondering whom else is part of the patient’s journey other than doctors & nurses.
Well, after being triaged, patients get registered formally at the registration counter. This is done efficiently by a team who makes sure details like contact numbers are correct, so doctors don’t have to. After consultation, patients go to the pharmacy. Pharmacists explain how to take the medication that was prescribed by us doctors and even counter-check our orders. For patients who need admission, clerks expertly answer tough questions about beds & bills. To cope with the viral outbreak, an extended screening area was erected. In this new space, someone has to organise labels and logistics like alcohol wipes. That person is Apple, a patient care assistant and one of our unsung heroes.
Finally, moving our patients from place to place, tirelessly, are our porters. They escort our patients from the emergency department to the radiology department for urgent scans and to the wards. Without them, literally, nothing moves. I was grateful that the mommies sent enough flowers so I could share them with the porters as well.
This Amazing Community
In the rest of the days that followed, we were overwhelmed by the good wishes that flooded in from the community. Handwritten notes of encouragement, daisies and more bubble tea kept our spirits high. Week 2 of DORSCON Orange sure seemed less depressing than the week before. I think, because of these gestures of kindness, we were able to develop a strong sense of mental fortitude. This despite long hours & increasing cases of COVID-19, with no end in sight.
Open Hearts, Open Minds
Patients & Caregivers
Although we receive these gifts with grateful hearts, there is something else everyone in the community can do. Something that won’t cost a single cent. And that is to trust us, healthcare professionals. Trust us as we trust you. Specifically, when the screeners & triage nurses ask if your child has fever or cough, if so, please state this. If you don’t trust that we know where to site you, which might be a high risk area if you’ve also traveled to China, things may not run smoothly. For instance if you don’t disclose this information, doctors and patients around you might be affected because we’re not in the right protective gear. The thing is, we trust you. So please honestly declare your symptoms, travel and contact history.
At great risk of sounding like an official running for elections, which I’m clearly not for this is just a personal blog, I have to say something about unity. Can we outsmart a virus? Maybe not. But we can learn, react, cope and mitigate. And we can do this best, together. The entire community, and extensive healthcare team, working together, with open hearts.