11 May 2020

To defeat the epidemic is not an easy task, but is quite a possible one. We need time, we need funds, we need professionals and their well-coordinated work for the result. When it comes to a pandemic, the strength of one clinic is not enough. And then others join the regime in which the infectious hospital usually works.

And this has happened. Many Belarusian hospitals quickly adapted to the reception of patients with a diagnosis of COVID-19. One of them is Minsk 4th hospital. Emergency restructuring of the work structure, the purchase of overalls, lightning-fast re-profiling of doctors – and now a half of a thousand doctors can treat coronavirus patients here. Each of the doctors has his or her own story. We’ll tell you one right now. Julija Hryzunt. Report from the front line.

Rare moments when it is possible to have breakfast together, and even at home almost all talks are about work. Mira Ramanoŭskaja is the head nurse of the infarction department of the 4th hospital. She must not only communicate with coronavirus patients, but also coordinate the work of all sisters. It is her task to prevent the intersection of the so-called dirty and clean zones.

Mira Ramanoŭskaja, the head nurse of the infarction department of the healthcare institution «4th City Clinical Hospital named after M. Saŭčanka»: «There is no fear. There is no panic. This is work. We got in such hard conditions. For all the time of my activity, of course, this is for the first time. But we were fully provided with all the protective equipment from the first day. Even before the first patient arrived, we had had everything: overalls, respirators, masks, shoe covers».

At home, grandmother helps Valieryja get ready for a session at the medical educational institution. Granddaughter is already finishing third year of study. In the future she will become a pediatrician. Valieryja Karsieka confides that since childhood she has read books about the structure of human instead of fairy tales. And thanks to the pandemic, she was convinced once again: the profession of a doctor is a matter of her life as well.

Another doctor from this dynasty could not attend the family breakfast. Aliena Karsieka, the daughter of the head nurse Mira, works in the same 4th hospital. Aliena is an endoscopist.

Aliena Karsieka, the endoscopist of the healthcare institution «4th city clinical hospital named after M. Saŭčanka»: «I won’t say that there are more work. It remains as it was. The same number of patients. Maybe the structure itself has changed. If earlier there were more planned interventions, there were more operations, now there are more emergency calls and mainly to the resuscitation department».

A pulmonologist by education, Aliena Karsieka passed an internship just for diseases of the respiratory system. Therefore, in principle, now everything is familiar and habitual. And what is the most important – still with interest and gratitude for the opportunity to be at the front line. Moreover, with the whole family.

Aliena Karsieka, the endoscopist of the healthcare institution «4th City Clinical hospital named after M. Saŭčanka»: «The choice of profession was predetermined. From childhood I saw how my mother works, I saw her attitude to the profession. This formed the choice. In addition, my aunt is also a doctor. Some questions were always discussed in the family circle, and I knew since childhood that I would choose this profession».

For Aliena Karsieka, work with a pulmonological bias is familiar, but for most doctors of the «four» becoming an infectionist in one second was not so easy. However, almost everyone went to fight the pandemic. Out of a staff of 1310 employees, 500 put on plague suits and went into the dirty zone.

Cardiological in profile, 4th hospital became infectious on March 23

Just like many others. Coronavirus patients are brought here. Since the «four» is one of the foci of infection, I cannot go inside. Therefore, the doctors made a video for this report themselves.

Morning medical round. The head doctor came to talk with patients. He tries to give attention to everyone with a diagnosis of COVID. Together with him is the main infectious disease specialist of the Ministry of Health Ihar Karpaŭ. He oversees the work of all clinics that have become infectious.

Vaclaŭ Januška, the head doctor of the healthcare institution «4th City Clinical Hospital named after M. Saŭčanka»: «It all started with the fact that we organized the fates, allocated clean and dirty areas. This is a different mode of operation for both the hospital and the staff. It was necessary to conduct repeated trainings, studies with all staff, from nurses to lifters».

We see overalls on doctors. However, you have heard dozens of times about plague suits. They are really sewn by the whole country. And every company tries to make it not more expensive, but cheaper and as suitable as possible. However, no one in the world has yet managed to sew a really comfortable suit for an 8-hour shift. And it is unlikely to manage. But you can get used even to that fact in time. You get used to suits, and to mandatory tests for COVID once every two weeks, and to the thermometer every day when you enter and leave the hospital. All this has become part of the work.

Another new piece of work for which there is no extra payment is moral support for patients with COVID-19. In this regard, employees of the infarction department, which has become infectious, feel little easier. The fact that the infarction department was reprofiled does not mean at all patients of this profile were left without treatment. Note that it was convenient to make the 4th hospital infectious because of its architecture and of the direction of staffers, who are nevertheless almost all initially therapists. Former patients of the «four» are redirected to other clinics and continue full-scale treatment. It means that today doctors cope perfectly even with logistical issues.