Visiting IDC…and the feelings it brings

Visited a state-of-the-art Infectious Disease and Control center in HK. From the double interlocking doors to the one way flow of staff, it’s practical concept of clean and dirty areas to the placement of air vents, it was not only very well engineered but also incorporated nursing and health care team in mind to produce the best service under the circumstances to the patient. It’s design allayed quite some fear in me of isolation precautions. For the longest time I can still remember when RJH and SanPen Hospital had an outbreak, the dreariness of the whole ward, the apprehension before going in, and the oppression of the closed off almost claustrophobic units. Instead, this infection unit towering at a 18 story infrastructure on a hill, with a pleasant view and windows between each cubicle, gave off a much better working environment than I’ve ever seen. Understandably, HK has gone through it’s share of infectious diseases, notably SARS, that required such expenses and measures to be taken and they have gained valuable experience. During the tour, the ICN stated that regardless of what technology has to offer, it is still a great stress for nurses and health care team working in such facilities, not knowing what tomorrow may bring and when their own health may be under attack, fear of returning to their own homes or taking care of their own children, not having any “proven evidence based practice” nor any prior experience, and through it all, is the nurse’s diligence that protects them. Another anecdote was how after an ICU nurse was called back to the front line of infectious disease control, with the prospect of being offered a post safe from this chaos and fear, had chosen to return and apply his knowledge at the front line of health care, because he “did not want to regret in the future”.
Knowledge-wise, are you prepared to be a nurse?
Psychologically, are you prepared to be a nurse?

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