The outbreak of the novel coronavirus has affected many sectors, causing a halt in some activities. However, homecare staff and the injury clinic of the Tehran hospital of the Petroleum Industry Health Organization (PIHO) Habibollah Samie have been working ceaselessly ever since. Every time covid infections rise sharply and even on weekends they are on-call to reach patients if need be.
The head of homecare services, Farzaneh Aqajari, said homecare and injury clinic staff were helping patients in full compliance with healthcare protocols, adding that patients would be assured that no covid transmission would occur.
“Our colleagues have been referring to houses, the injury clinic and various hospital wards where dressing and testing are needed,” she said.
“Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, a new group of patients has been added to our list of services. This group comprises covid+ patients whom we visit from time to time. There is no specific schedule to that effect and we are ready to visit them every time we are called in,” she added.
“The nursing section experts control vital signs, take a description of patients and take samples for testing and data gathering before reporting to relevant authorities so that decisions would be made for the hospitalization of patients,” said Aqajari.
“Some patients were initially fearing our presence at their homes because of covid risks, but the requirement for our staff to respect healthcare protocols and use shields and have full protection has changed their minds and therefore confidence in our homecare services has increased,” she added.
“We take seriously self-care and caring for our patients, particularly wearing PPE for our physiotherapists who are very close to patients. Gown and PPE are now common uniforms for our homecare nurses,” Aqajari said.
“As most covid patients have underlying diseases they refer to the injury clinic after discharge from the covid ward. The health protocols are entirely respected at the injury clinic in order to protect the patients and staff and prevent any transmission of infection to other sections,” she said.
Aqajari said physiotherapists need to attend to patients for 45 minutes and nurses 25 minutes. That is quite long and if healthcare protocols are not respected covid infection becomes more likely, she warned.
“The injury clinic nurses looking after both covid+ and non-covid+ patients remain in close contact with the patient for 20-40 minutes. They have to change their gowns for various sections and they change their PPE in dealing with new patients in order to dress an injury in full safety. In some cases like diabetic patients, dressing injury is key to the patient’s health and it could not be delayed,” she said.
“Any patient discharged from the hospital would need subsequent care and he cannot refer to hospital. Homecare experts would serve them, regardless of being covid+ or not,” said Aqajari.
She said that 20-30 percent of nursing service patients are under homecare and no change has been made to services provided to them despite the covid outbreak.
Aqajari said the homecare experts included Behnaz Hassani (injury expert), Noushin Nikkhah (homecare and injury clinic expert), Zahra Marvsti (injury and homecare expert), Mona Harasai (physiotherapist) and Hamid Ebrahimi (homecare relief actor).
“They are providing assistance to all patients, no matter if they are covid+,” she said.