3 Important Lessons I Learnt Working At A Covid-19 ICU

I’m writing a blog post after a very long time. This is because I was appointed to work at a COVID-19 intensive care unit for 2 months, and I was busy working there. When I started my work in May the COVID-19 cases were on the rise, and there were not enough doctors to take care of them. So me and some of my colleagues were taken out from our routine course-work from my Health Informatics MSc and was sent to different treatment centers around the country to take care of the rising COVID-19 case load.

Luckily since a new batch of doctors came out from their internship, and we are seeing a drop in new cases, we were released to continue our routine MSc and Diplomas.

The past two months were some of the most exciting two months of my life, and I taught me things that I might not have learned if I never got the opportunity to work for two months at an COVID-19 ICU, so here’s what I learned.

The disease is serious than you think

The covid ICU I worked with was a small 3 bed ICU at Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.

Even though I have heard that the disease is serious, I never got the chance to see a patients in real life until May. And now whenever I see people walking without their masks, or refusing to get the vaccination, I wish they can see how one would suffer because of this disease.

I have seen people gasping for air, healthier men than me dying within two weeks after getting the disease, and we had to watch helpless after trying out all the possible options to save their lives.

If people see the real horror of the disease, they will not act irresponsibly. So wear a mask, wash your hands and make sure to get yourselves vaccinated.

Be careful with what you share with your colleagues

These days everyone is on Facebook, and everyone likes to share something on the internet for klout, and some shares and comments.

I saw an unpleasant situation where some documents that were shared privately on a chat ended up on Facebook after getting shared multiple times.

There are things one should put on Facebook/Internet, and there are things that people should avoid, aka things should not be put on the public web.

However, even if you share something privately on a chat, and no matter how much you tell people to keep within the chat, you will never know how things will share and all it takes is one irresponsible person to post it on Facebook, Twitter etc, and you have to put out the fires.

A photograph is an evidence, something you say on the phone is just here-say.

Criticize ideas not people

Sometimes you will have to criticize. I too have done that and sometimes people have told it’s hard to work with me, because people say, I criticize more than my colleagues.

Then I learned the valuable lesson that one should not criticize a person. If you criticize a person they are going to take things personally. However, if you criticize an idea then there is nothing to be taken personally.

And personally I feel criticizing an idea is more valuable than criticizing a person. Because when you tell something to someone, you are actually praising or criticizing an idea of a given person, not the person itself.

Apart from these, I met few new friends, travelled a lot. Two months well spent.

The first time Shashi wore a PPE.

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