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A tribute to the nurses

The effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue. Medical personnel do not give up.

A tribute to the nurses

C.Cozzi. Pictures Walsfriede Courtesy

Bern, Switzerland. [CD-EUDNews. C.Cozzi]. May 12th has been the World Nurses' Day, a worldwide occasion to highlight the importance of nurses in the healthcare continuum and thank nurses for what they do. Historically, as well as today, nurses are at the forefront of fighting epidemics and pandemics -providing high quality and respectful treatment and care.
They are often the first and sometimes the only health professional that people see and the quality of their initial assessment, care and treatment is vital. The Covid-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the vital role nurses play. Without nurses and other health workers, we will not win the battle against outbreaks, we will not achieve the Sustainable Development Goals or universal health coverage. So the World Health Organisation assertion.

Message from the President
Pastor Mario Brito, President of Inter-European Region of Seventh-day Adventists, express his gratitude to all medical personnel with this video message.

La Lignière
The nursing staff must face the fear of being contaminated when they enter a room in order to accomplish their mission and vocation: to accompany patients deprived of the link with their loved ones.

The Clinique La Lignière, Centre de Réadaptation et de Psychiatrie de Suisse Romande, has completely reorganised itself to deal with this pandemic. Since 13 March, the LICA (Lignière Catastrophe crisis unit) has piloted a reconversion of existing specialisations and has adapted the organisation in order to be able to support the cantonal response mechanism at Covid-19.

To raise souls and warm hearts, the musical notes of a violin of Thierry Lenoir, chaplain of the Clinique, and the Alpen Horn of Olivier Meuwly, Technician Responsible of Medical devises, resound several times a week. Through the harmonies and vibrations of the strings, and the sound of the horn, the hearts of the patients and staff vibrate. Hearts that connect with the hope of a return to normality. See the video here

Hospital Waldfriede
CD-EUDNews interviewed Bernd Quoss, CEO at Waldfriede Adventist Hospital in Berlin, Germany, where like all hospitals, Covid-19 emergency activities are not yet released.
When Coronavirus became a real threat for the population in Germany, what was your first reaction as hospital entity manager?

My first reaction was: "How should we deal with the pandemic problem?" We were aware of serious infections [reported] by the media in China and Italy. “What will happen to the hospital, the retirement home, and our two private clinics? How big will the wave of infection be?” I did not, at any time, feel that we could not treat patients or that we were overwhelmed. [Our] medical and nursing [staff] are competent and technically well-equipped.

Can you tell us, in a short outline, what was your strategic plan?

My plan was that we immediately set up a pandemic crisis team that [would meet] every day at 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. to discuss the new national and international events. The daily reports from the Robert Koch Institute and John Hopkins University served as the basis. Unfortunately, there was not enough protection for employees (mouth guards, goggles, sterile clothing, hand sanitizer). With my hospital management team, I have declared 5 goals for our entire Waldfriede network (in order of importance): 1. Provide the patients, guests, and customers with the best possible medical and nursing care 2. The [network’s] own employees and their families protect and enable their ability to work 3. Ensure that no treatment and supply bottlenecks arise 4. Keep the high-quality standard 5. Keep the entire network economically viable

How was the impact with the population that came to you to be healed from the infection?

A lot of patients were worried, because we were no longer allowed to admit patients from one day to the next (only emergencies and coronavirus patients). The planned operations were no longer allowed to be carried out. We had to cancel and postpone 150 operations per week. Patients now have to wait 4-6 months for a new surgical appointment. We then endeavor to provide people until the end of the year.

How did you organise the structure in order to contain the contagion within the hospital?

First, we increased our intensive care ventilation places from 10 to 30 and bought the appropriate ventilation equipment. In addition, we enlisted 40 qualified doctors and 40 qualified nurses in intensive medicine because we did not know how many coronavirus patients had to be treated. We have overridden the maximum daily working hours in order to competently treat coronavirus patients. An isolation ward was set up (relatives of patients were prohibited from visiting). The church hall was converted into a coronavirus rescue center. A daycare center was set up so that the children of our doctors and nurses are taken care of. Administrative staff had to work from their home offices.

How many patients have passed through or are currently admitted, and how is the situation?

We have had about 1-3 Covid-positive patients and about 20 suspected cases every day since mid-March. Overall, we have very good control of the coronavirus situation. Fortunately, we do not have such dramatic proportions as in other countries.

Did the coronavirus affect your activities in terms of the services you offer to patients?Do you expect a possible financial damage?

For our inpatients, we offer the same medical, nursing, and general services as in the past. Unfortunately, we cannot offer a single room to many patients as we need this for the quarantine of the coronavirus patients. We are currently not allowed to offer outpatient services (e.g. consultations with chief physicians, physiotherapy). We also do not run any health prevention courses in our Prima Vita health center, as many group events take place there. We are no longer able to offer psychiatric group sessions in our day clinic. We also had difficulties with outpatient nursing in people's homes. They were afraid of being infected. We expect the entire network to lose around € 3 million in revenue. We'll see how we can compensate for this financially. Perhaps compensating will take 2-3 years.

Waldfriede Hospital celebrates 100 years today. What does it mean for you, being the CEO of a structure that served for so long a time?

I am proud of the Waldfriede Hospital that has existed in Berlin for 100 years. The Lord has blessed our home all these years [despite the fact that] the hospital has had many difficult times. For example: The consequences of World War I, World War II, several world economic crises, the division of Berlin into East and West and the reunification. And now the corona pandemic. I am convinced that God will help us to overcome this crisis.

What represent Waldfriede for the population around you?

The Waldfriede Hospital has a very high and important meaning for the population of Berlin. Waldfriede is the second oldest hospital in Berlin after the University of Charité. It has always [remained] at the same location and in the same ownership. We are the largest medical care provider and employer in the South-West of Berlin. As a hospital, we also provide most of the training places for young people. For the Adventist Church in Berlin, we are a beacon for mission and evangelism. The people of Berlin get to know the Adventists positively because of the Waldfriede Hospital. High-performance medicine, human warmth, and social commitment are our brand. We will continue to work the next few years to get further involved and meet our motto: "Our service to man is service to God" 

What are your wishes for the future?

I wish that … ... we will be able to relieve many people and patients of their illness and suffering. ...we would have satisfied employees who recognize, every day, that they are doing meaningful work. ...we will positively embody the Adventist Church and "always seek the best for the city". ...we will continue our work with the [same] high dynamics and power of the last ten years and further expand the network. God will continue to hold His protective hand over us and bless the hospital.