In the thick of the action


By Umie Syazwanie Mohd

KUCHING: Medical and nursing students who had to undergo their practical at selected hospitals during this Covid-19 pandemic are left with little or no choice but to soldier on as medical and health frontliners.

Together with the ever-dedicated teams of serving nurses and doctors at their respective stations, they had to be in the thick of the action together with other frontliners, exposing themselves to possible infection. 

In a random interview with the New Sarawak Tribune on Tuesday (Sept 7), some of the affected students shared their experiences since they started their practical.

Claudia Schiffer Sijamat

Claudia Schiffer Sijamat, 23, a third-year nursing student at the Nurses Training Institute of the Ministry of Health Malaysia in Kuching, said many wards at the hospital where she was stationed for her practical were facing shortage of staff as many had been assigned to other wards.

She said she had to assist in managing each ward to help ease the burden of lack of manpower.

“I also have to facilitate the affairs of the nursing staff in the ward and it was certainly a challenge.

“The biggest challenge is to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOPs) that have been set because we are also at high risk of being carriers of the virus. The situation in the ward was very busy due to lack of staff and we did not have time to rest,” she said.

She admitted feeling fearful when she had to deal with patients whose health statuses were unknown.

In the face of this critical situation, she said always took precautions such as double-masking and using a face shield, always washing her hands with soap and water, maintaining social distancing and others.

Nur Hazierah Atikah Kassim

Meanwhile, Nur Hazierah Atikah Kassim, 23, a fourth-year medical student at University Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) claimed that throughout her practical at the hospital during this pandemic, she did her best to gain experience in this new norm and applying the things she had learned efficiently in a short amount of time.

She expressed her frustration at not being able to practice during the now critical pandemic.

“The biggest challenge faced during an internship is being unable to undergo practical physically at any hospital or medical institution for several months because of the risk of Covid-19 infection,” she said.

She explained that the limited experience of communicating with clients or patients, which is the core to providing the best care for every patient, will have a negative impact on her preparation for the working world.

At the same time, she hoped with the experience gained, it would be beneficial for her and prospective patients.

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