Dr. Amran Dhillon – Former RN (ICU/ED), Rural GP Anaesthetist/Specialist Anaesthetic Trainee

rural gp

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My experience during the Covid outbreak

Waiting for the storm to come. Right now, we are lucky in Australia. The cases are low. I reflect to when I was nursing. Multiple times I have used those big blue ill-fitting gowns for droplet isolation precautions – TB, influenza etc. Honestly, I did not give it much thought. We wrapped it around, got the ties done, mask on and gloves on. I felt set.

Now I look on where I once was. A little scared inside I wonder what is safer. What is harder right now. Nursing versus medicine. There is no simple answer. Nurses are at the bedside 24/7 – their contact and exposure with patients is far greater than doctors. On the flip side as an airway doctor, I can be exposed a little more, that is during aerosol-generating procedures, of which intubating is one.

As more evidence and information emerges during the Corona pandemic, our morning routine changes. Simulation after simulation, we get immersed in what could be and what possibly will be. Our views and feelings are shaped by what we see from our colleagues abroad. I sum it up by calling it the Corona crisis. One may think that is a little dramatic however what is happening to our neighbours is so unfortunate.

The occasional smile and laugh keep us all sane. This interspersed with the stern look and one of fright and deep concentration. We do our best to contain social media as it is fraught with mixed messages.

We stress over PPE just like our colleagues all over the world, we push on and prepare as best we can.

A majority of us all have our jobs but our training is delayed across many disciplines in medicine. Examinations have stalled – pass or fail. Much of our rigorous training program is on hold. Just as small businesses struggle outside these hospital walls, we will continue in our struggles preparing for the worst and doing what we do best – saving lives. For now, I take it week by week and enjoy the simple pleasures in life. Blessed to be in a prime position to help out in this pandemic and in the future – I push on for another day studying hard and working like it was any other normal day.

  • Dr. Amran Dhillon – Former RN (ICU/ED), Rural GP Anaesthetist/Specialist Anaesthetic Trainee
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