With the rising number of COVID-19 cases, the hospital has to follow a strict protocol so that an outbreak within, which can lead to an emergency might be prevented, according to Medical Superintendent of JDWNR Hospital, Dr. Gosar Pemba.
Prior to getting admitted, both the patients and attendees have to undergo RT-PCR test. Delay in getting the test result on time has caused various inconveniences but the hospital inaugurated a RT-PCR testing lab in its premises to address the testing requirements of patients and attendants which would accelerate the admission of patients and attendants. It is also meant for testing the hospital staff.
Another preventive method the hospital has adopted is keeping the doctors, nurses, and supporting staff in quarantine facilities after duty. Explaining the procedure, Dr. Gosar Pemba said that the health workers treating the inpatients have to work 12 hours a day for 14 days.
On completing their two-week duty, they are not allowed to visit their family members but have to stay in the quarantine facilities. After they undergo RT-PCR, the next group of health workers along with supporting staff will be deployed for duty.
Dr. Gosar Pemba said that this routine has been going on and will go on till the situation is normal. “Although there were complaints from a few, one needs to understand that the situation is not normal and this will not go on forever,” he said.
The hospital staff is divided into three teams; Outpatient Department (OPD), inpatient, and buffer team. OPD otherwise called ambulatory care is the team treating the patients outside the hospital. Temporary tents are pitched outside the hospital which function as examination room (ER) and triage.
The inpatient team is the group of health workers inside the hospital treating the patients while the buffer team is a standby team of health workers based in their individual homes.
In case there is any positive case detection in any health worker, the buffer team will take charge according to their turn, said Dr. Gosar Pemba.
Meanwhile the working modality is also changed for now. A health worker is restricted from moving or walking around in other departments besides his/her designated workplace.The health worker after he/she is done with his/her shift has to go directly to the quarantine facility.
No visitors are allowed in the ward and food for patients from outside is restricted as one of the preventative methods.
Dr. Gonsar Pemba said that JDWNRH is well-prepared to ensure that there is no outbreak of COVID-19 in the hospital.
Meanwhile, health workers along with supporting staff must don the Personal Protective Equipment including surgical masks, gloves, glasses, face shields, gowns and aprons.
Today, there are 1,530 staff working in JDWNRH with 20 departments.
Chencho Dema from Thimphu