Nurse awarded by Putin spoke about work in the “covid” hospital
By the decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, the nurse of the children’s infectious diseases hospital Yulia Aleksandrovna Kulikova was awarded the Luka Krymsky medal for special labor merits, dedication and high professionalism shown in the fight against coronavirus infection. She became the only doctor in Kamchatka to receive this award. Yulia Aleksandrovna told the journalist of the news agency “Kam 24” about the peculiarities of work in “covid” hospitals in the region.
Selfless work, for which Julia received the Luka Krymsky medal, established especially for doctors, began on April 14. Epidemiologist Elena Chernykh called her and said: “Pack your essentials, personal hygiene products. We will work in hospital mode without going home. By eight in the morning we come to work and for two weeks we haven’t left there ”.
“At first we worked only with children, there were no adults yet,” says Yulia Kulikova. – There were not so many children, and I thought that we would work in this mode for all 14 days. But it turned out differently. The staff for the second shift was not recruited. Since in the first wave – we called it that – there were key employees, then half of them went on vacation. We were offered from the very beginning: those who do not want to work with covid patients can go on vacation at their own expense for a month. And the people scattered. And we – those who remained – were offered to work for another two weeks.
But for the second two weeks, Julia did not finish. Despite all protective measures, she and another employee became infected. May 6 they sowed Covid-19, and they went to the CT scan, thinking it was some kind of mistake. Patient Julia did not feel herself, although all the symptoms – and shortness of breath, and body aches, and loss of taste and smell – were evident. She realized this only later, while lying in the hospital.
– We did how we worked – a mask from below, a respirator, a mask from above, and running across the floors. It is clear that shortness of breath will be without covid. In addition, they were constantly watered with disinfectants, bleach, from which not only the fingers climbed, but also the nails. And I am also allergic, so I thought it was right. After 12 hours, we entered the airlock specially equipped in the hospital, irrigated with bleach, then undressed, washed – all according to the rules of the sanitary and epidemiological regime. And only then they went out into the clean area.
CT scan showed more than 30% lung damage, and we were urgently taken to the first city hospital. By the way, I want to say thank you to the doctors and the entire hospital staff – they, too, like us, entered this covid wave, and we were treated very well! We did everything that was supposed to be done: CT scan, smears, and we received all the necessary medications. Yes, the doctor did not come to us for the first two days. But we understood this very well, considering that they had 140 patients, and one doctor for all. Moreover, we are doctors ourselves, we didn’t want to jerk doctors once again, we were not heavy. And only there we realized our state. I remembered that I slept half-sitting for two nights, because I had severe shortness of breath, broke all joints, the back of my head, had a headache, and eyeballs. But we attributed all this to fatigue, bleach, running around the floors in PPE (PPE – personal protective equipment) … We were discharged on May 26, that is, we spent 20 days in bed.
Already 4 days after being discharged, Yulia entered the “red zone” again. They called from the hospital: no one to work! And she again took over. And I realized that the running of the first shift – it was flowers. Because then only children were in the hospital, and on the same floor. And now the adult covid patients have filled three floors. And Julia with another nurse ended up together for the whole hospital …
– In the first ten days, I did not even think that I could get so tired in my life! I put on 73 IVs per day. We worked 12 hours a day, since there were only four nurses – two from 8 am to 8 pm, and two at night, until 8 am. I attended the procedures as a more experienced procedural nurse – that is, IVs, blood sampling, and Natasha was distributing medications. There were no case histories, the doctors were new, nothing was clear. In general, it was very difficult.
We didn’t have time for anything! Thanks to the patients who understood the situation – we had employees from the prosecutor’s office. But there were also those, moreover, including doctors, who almost threw themselves at the door with slippers. They were closed in the boxes. Either bring them some water, then why the doctor doesn’t fit … I say: my dears, you understand, the doctor is one on three floors, she is here for days. It’s hard!
And at this pace we worked for 10 days. I put these IVs, I swear, just on my knees, because my legs were no longer holding them. You run into the ward, covered in sweat, the men say: Julia, sit down, rest for five minutes. What is there! I had to get the droppers out before lunchtime, and the time is already 6 pm.
We begged our leadership to help at least someone. On June 6, we were finally assigned two people: a paramedic with an ambulance, and a nurse who previously worked in the admission department – this is not a fully specialist, of course, but at least extra arms and legs! Already simpler. Therefore, I am very offended when people who have not seen everything, undertake to judge the level of assistance. They do not see that when you undress from these PPE, then in “tights” water is knee-deep!
– In terms of?
– Because everything flows from you! Starting with the mask, into the eyes. These suits are still brushed. Raise your hand and feel the sweat running down it. These suits are like baby jumpsuits with tights. You put them on your shoes, fasten them with tape – because they are designed for a height of 180 centimeters, so that there is not a bubble of air anywhere. And you wrap your gloves with duct tape too. Everything is airtight. When you undress later, your laundry is soaked through …
Almost all patients received infusion therapy. And in terms of severity, the patients were different – and severe, and extremely difficult, and intensive care. And the dead were. The very grave ones were sent to the AIDS center or the first city center, because we had only two ventilators. One woman who was treated with us developed the disease very quickly. When I put her on an IV, she dangled her legs, sitting on the bed. I ask how you feel? She replies that today is better. And in the evening they called me and said that she had been transferred to the intensive care unit. And she died there. The woman was not fifty years old! The changes went so quickly: today the patient was normal, and tomorrow he could not reach the toilet due to shortness of breath. Everything, oxygen! And this was the case with young people, a little over forty. Children are easier to bear. And the most paradoxical thing is that a grandpa of 70 years old and a grandma of 80, despite cardiovascular diseases and surges in blood sugar, were discharged and recovered.
I’ve seen enough of this covid. Such an unpredictable development of events and the outcome that it is simply scary! That’s the problem. Therefore, people who do not believe in the seriousness of what is happening are wrong.
We were completed by June 16. Many thanks to Valentina Nikolaevna Reznik, the head nurse – we spent days and nights there, although she was outside the red zone, but around the clock. A lot of questions arose constantly, schedules, reception of people, the work of ambulances – everything was on it. And in a quiet way, from June 1, I was given the reins of the head nurse in the hearth – our older sister did not go to the hearth, and there was no one to fulfill her duties. They asked until the 10th, but in fact it came out until June 16th. That is 16 days.
– You have been in this epidemiological center long enough. According to your observations, what determines the outcome of the disease?
– First of all, of course, from concomitant diseases. Neurology, cardiovascular. From age – not always. Initially, it was not stated that covid causes complications in the central nervous system. And according to our observations, people with coronavirus often had problems with their heads, despite the low temperature.
– Did you have enough medicines?
– Enough! The only thing – we also had complaints about this – we were not ready to admit, for example, cardiological and neurological patients, since we were provided with medicines for an infectious profile, that is, with antibiotics, antiviral, specific covid. We have a childhood infection, we have treated diarrhea, vomiting, snot and coughs all our lives. Where do we get neurological and cardiac drugs? In the first week, it was only developed and purchased, of course, with a delay, so there were sometimes complaints and complaints like: I have to get the drug by the hour …
– You were not scared, even having contracted the coronavirus, although you could have gone on vacation after your recovery. But we went back to work …
– Now it is already easier, there are indulgences. We already live at home. All those who had been ill were tested for antibodies. And those with sufficient antibody titer were sent home. I left the hearth on June 31st. I rested for two weeks, and on July 15 I came back. From the 20th, we began to gradually withdraw adults from the hospital, discharged them and no longer accepted new ones. And now we only have children, one floor. I work from 8 am to 3:40 pm every day. No days off, because we are still in hospital mode. Only those who are already ill and with antibodies spend the night at home. The epidemiologist is constantly watching us, we hand over smears and blood tests. Supervised by Rospotrebnadzor. Regarding our illness, I mean myself and the second nurse, there was an investigation in the hospital – why and how, were we sufficiently protected.
– And what is the conclusion, how did you get infected?
– How did you get on the list of those awarded the presidential medal?
“I still don’t know this. There weren’t even any hints from the Ministry of Health or the management of our hospital. We learned from the media. Artyom Dneprovsky called from the radio and said that I was awarded. I learned from him. We had patients who saw the conditions in which we worked. Some even now write to me and say thank you. I think they wrote it where they should. I asked the head physician about the award, said that I learned about it from social networks. The head physician said: yes, congratulations.
– That is, you were not congratulated in the team, flowers were not presented? When will the medal be given?
– But how do I know. This is the first time I’m talking to you on this topic. And the work has become more difficult – some employees look askance. Permanent jokes like: “I suppose you gave me an apartment with a typewriter?”
– Can you make public how much they pay for a covid?
– We have no calculations since April, we cannot understand what we should be paid. We were paid for the first wave. Then we ourselves went to the hospital. Then they paid us nothing for May, referring to the fact that they overpaid for April. They said they would calculate. I say, “Stop, wait. Putin’s 50 thousand, 30 regional and 25 from our hospital, all this adds 2.6 northern coefficient. ” They answer: “Well, you didn’t work for a month, but 15 days. Not 50, but 25, minus income tax, that is, 21 thousand. ” This is about Putin’s money. Someone filed with the prosecutor’s office, they counted us, paid everything. But next month – the same story …
On the other hand, do you know what I want to tell you? This hospital regime showed who is who in our closed medical kingdom-state! Those people in whom I was sure that they could be relied on turned out to be unreliable. And those about whom I thought that you couldn’t cook porridge with them – on the contrary, showed their best side. Including manual. That is, this covid, figuratively speaking, turned all the dirty laundry inside out. But our department, the main handful of medical workers, this situation, on the contrary, rallied. Since July 15, we left, 5-6 people, including doctors and an epidemiologist – all our own, and this warms the soul. There are no people from outside who were sent to help us. Oddly enough, sometimes there was the impression that those who were not able to do anything in their hospitals were sent to us.
– Do you think that the incidence of coronavirus in Kamchatka is really declining?
– Definitely! I can see it from the hospital. But the second wave is expected in October-November. This virus is like seasonal flu, it mutates anyway. This is the first thing. Secondly, people have already relaxed, flew on vacation. Those who were not sick will bring the virus from there. And those who have been ill acquired immunity, but it is unstable. Therefore, my advice to you: take care of yourself and your loved ones!