She talks to grandparents from outside their flat: Hospital workers are on the front line too

Besides doctors and nurses, other workers in hospitals have been under pressure amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Here's a look at their contributions and challenges.


She talks to grandparents from outside their flat

Ms Nurul Hadainah Muhamad Suhaimi, who works at Changi General Hospital (CGH), has not hugged her grandparents for more than a year.

Although the senior associate executive at CGH's Changi Simulation Institute is not in direct contact with Covid-19 patients, she worries that her maternal grandparents, who are both 85, will get infected with the coronavirus.

For the past year, whenever she has visited them, she has stood in the corridor outside their flat, talking to them through a closed gate.

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Team converts NUH wards as Covid-19 ebbs and flows

In February last year, National University Hospital's (NUH) department of operations support services quickly converted normal wards into pandemic wards for Covid-19 patients.

The team's engineers, operational and security staff helped convert five general wards into pandemic wards. Three were reconverted to general wards subsequently, while two remained.

When the Covid-19 cases surged this year, the three general wards were again converted to pandemic wards. These wards house Covid-19 patients, and their conversion involves ensuring that the air supplied to and directed from it does not mix with that of other wards.

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Supervisors don PPE to help tackle surge in cleaning jobs in Singapore during Covid-19

Ms Yeo Shu Ming, 26, an executive at the National University Hospital's (NUH) environmental services department, oversees general and biohazard waste disposals as well as requests for cleaning of wards and rooms.

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic early last year, there have been 50 per cent more requests for terminal cleaning of general wards, isolation wards and intensive care units.

And the number of cleaning requests has almost doubled since the spike in Covid-19 cases in August, added Ms Yeo.

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Patients' verbal abuse makes the job even tougher amid Covid-19

Mr Neo Zhi Yang, 31, has found it hard getting verbally abused by the people he has been trying to help. But the senior pharmacist at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) tries to be understanding, knowing that the pandemic has hit everyone hard.

"It could be due to the uncertainties of Covid-19. And because of that, some patients get anxious and visibly agitated," he said. "But I am thankful for other patients who spoke up for me when such incidents happen."

On top of that and the extra workload since the onset of Covid-19, he had to worry about his pregnant wife. She gave birth to a boy three weeks ago, the couple's first child.

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TTSH worker has not gone back to Philippines to visit family for 2 years amid Covid-19

For two years, Mrs Maala Maria Antonnette has not gone back to the Philippines to see her family.

In July last year, her husband had open-heart surgery in the Philippines. Then, in May this year, his mother died from Covid-19. Mrs Maria, 47, had to mourn for her mother-in-law through video calls.

Mrs Maria is an assistant supervisor at Tan Tock Seng Hospital's (TTSH) food and beverage services. Before Covid-19, she managed inpatient meal service operations. Her team of 10 was responsible for coordinating around 4,500 inpatient meals a day.

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