Working on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic is a tiring and never-ending job. For many healthcare workers, their days are split between helping COVID-19 patients while still managing their ordinary duties.

Groote Schuur’s Staff Health Clinic Team falls under Occupational Health and Safety, and their role is to ensure the hospital is a safe environment so that their staff can function optimally.

This includes supplying the proper PPE, screening and quarantining high-risk staff, as well as the normal admin and behind-the-scenes work they’ve had since before the pandemic reached the country.

“With this, we are still doing our other work like handling needle stick injuries and other emergencies that we have to attend to immediately. You know if someone has been exposed to potentially infectious bodily fluids we have to protect them and prevent them from contracting HIV and other infectious diseases,” the Staff Health Clinic Team explained to the Heroes of Groote Schuur Facebook page.

“We also see people from outside the hospital – forensic workers, paramedics, students – so it’s not only Groote Schuur Hospital staff that we see. And we do primary health care for staff that don’t have medical aid.”

This team has also been tasked with managing the roll-out of the vaccine at the hospital, which is no easy feat.

“With the flu vaccine we can just do it in a boardroom and people can come in bunches but now we have to plan very carefully. We have over 3 500 staff so it’s going to be difficult.”

The second wave has made their jobs even harder, resulting in an increased workload and more infections among healthcare workers.

“To date, we have 880 staff members that have had Covid. So that’s nearly a third of all staff. And we see each of them at least three times for paperwork afterward so we are really overwhelmed.”

Picture: Facebook/Heroes of Groote Schuur

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