The Unsung Heroes
Forbes India|July 31, 2020
Resident doctors are a vital cog in the Covid-19 battle, but they are dealing with inadequate facilities, low salaries, stigma, violence and lack of recognition during the crisis.
NAANDIKA TRIPATHI

At home too, Dr. Prerna Tayal needs to take precautions and complete household chores before she can call it a day. The 26-year-old, a third year post-graduate gynecologist working as a resident doctor at the Lady Hardinge Medical College in New Delhi, isolates herself in a separate room and has made it mandatory for her parents and younger brother to wear N95 masks when she is in the house. “It took time for all of us to adjust with this new normal, but now we’ve adapted to it,” says Tayal, who handles laboring women who are Covid-19 suspects, as well positive patients. “We’re dealing with two lives (mother and baby) at the same time, so it is extremely challenging. We have to be extra careful, especially around newborn babies. Simultaneously, we have to perform multiple tasks in PPE gear.”

Tayal explains that it is difficult to calm a woman down when she is in labor pain, and companions are not allowed inside the labor room during the pandemic. “It becomes difficult for us to take the patients’ blood samples as we cannot easily trace the veins due to the blurry vision through the goggles,” she says.

In these three months of Covid19 duty, Tayal went through a tough bout of depression. “Things were getting too much and I was having negative thoughts about everything. But I had the support of my friends and family, who kept reminding me that I was making everyone proud at a young age,” she says. “When I wore the PPE gear for the first time, I felt motivated, but all of that went off after being in it for an hour. I wanted to get rid of it and breathe some fresh air… trust me this is not easy!”

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