MYMonashAlumni: Frontliner Story 1

From left to right:
Chia Han Sheng (Class of 2012)
Cynthis Sandanamsamy (Class of 2015)
Victoria Tan Phooi Khei (Class of 2016)
Kugnethran A/L Parmusuan (Class of 2017)

The four of us are currently working as frontliners in the Emergency and Trauma Department of Queen Elizabeth Hospital I, Sabah.

As medical and house officers, we shoulder the responsibility to quickly triage, assess and resuscitate patients from all walks of life, in various forms of crisis and suffering. Every second in the department is full of adrenaline, as we can encounter something as mundane as a sore throat, to a full-blown heart attack with respiratory failure. Without effective teamwork between the other healthcare staff and us, we would surely be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of cases we have to attend to!

One of the biggest challenges remains in ensuring we can deliver the best possible care to a patient in need, while still keeping ourselves safe. In the era of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have to endure wearing cumbersome and uncomfortable PPEs to manage patients with and without respiratory illnesses, sometimes for up to 10 hours in a busy shift. There is a growing concern that we may run out of PPEs, and that we might even get infected ourselves. What’s amazing is how the Malaysian community has risen to the occasion by constantly donating various homemade PPEs for our daily use. Their generosity astounds us, and we are eternally grateful for their contributions.

The near future looks dark and difficult; but we believe that we can overcome this pandemic with faith, unity, and lots of kindness.

Stay safe, and stay home!