“I love you."
“You can do it!” “Fight this!”
These simple words of encouragement conveyed to patients from their families have a different take in my work setting.
I’m a Medical Social Worker and I support patients and their families with COVID-19 in the ICU. I support them in their emotional coping as they wait for the results of the swabs or as they battle the impact of COVID-19. Patients who have not cleared COVID-19 are not allowed visitors and this is often very challenging for patients and their loved ones.
I become their eyes, adding on to the team’s updates of the patients. While the updates might seem insignificant, they help allay some of the fears as these patients were critically ill, unable or have difficulty communicating on their own.
“Mr XX looks calm. It’s like he’s sleeping and is not in distress.”
“Ms XX has opened her eyes and is able to sit up now.”
In the ICU, every small improvement that our patients make is a major achievement because it’s not only families and us who wish for their recovery, the nation’s hope is also on our shoulders. When patients make it out of the ICU, we are happy for them as it means they are one step closer to recovery.
As the hospital’s Peer Supporter, I also provide emotional support to our staff, listening and encouraging them. I have joined in a few roll-calls in the ward to check-in on the staff, to thank and show our appreciation for their hard work.
It’s been a long journey and a lot of people are feeling fatigued. While we try to stay safe and healthy, it is also important to take care of our mental health. We are only stronger if we fight this together and look out for each other. Let’s continue to keep our spirits up!
~ Siti Mariam Bte MD Salim, Principal Medical Social Worker, SengKang Hospital
Source: SKH Facebook
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