From making registries of patients on computers to examining and giving them injections and drugs on time, junior resident doctors were seen performing duties of a doctor as well as nurse on Friday. Reason: Strike by around 2,000 PGIMER nurses.
“Nursing students are not trained at all and do not even know names of basic drugs. They do not know how to give fluids or record vitals (blood pressure, heart rate and others). The situation is quite messy. We, junior residents (JRs) and senior residents (SRs), are trying our best to help patients,” said a senior resident on emergency OPD duty.
There were only two nursing students per 50 patients in the emergency OPD, whereas nearly eight sisters remain on duty on routine days.
My husband is lying here since 10am and no one has come to see him so far,” said Bimla Devi, whose husband was lying on stretcher in the Emergency.
“Nurses record blood pressure of my father daily, but no one has come to check him today,” said Suneet Kaur, whose father has suffered stroke and is undergoing treatment at the Emergency since last three days.
The strength of junior and senior doctors was increased. On any given day, three JRs and three SRs remain on a shift in the emergency OPD. However, the number of JRs was increased to eight and SRs to six on Friday. Similarly, the number of doctors was doubled in each Emergency ward.
The condition was slightly better in the Advanced Trauma Centre. There were less number of patients in triage area managed by seven to eight doctors and two nursing students. “We have adopted a strategy, wherein we are not admitting stable patients and have discharged many patients who have improved. We are also attending new cases as soon as they enter the trauma centre and are referring them further,” said a senior doctor from advanced trauma centre. He added, “Luckily, the patient load is not much.”
The PGI authorities said, “The nurses went on one-day mass casual leave, thought their leaves were rejected. The administration had circulated contingency plan to all HoDs and administrative staff in advance to mitigate the effect of strike.”
REGISTRATION TIMINGS CURTAILED AT NEW OPD
Several patients at the new OPD had to go disappointed as the registration timings were curtailed to 9:30am; on the routine days it goes on till 11am. “Looking at the rush of patients, we continued registrations till 10am. Many people who had come from far off places had to go without examination. They argued and blamed us for their inconvenience, but what could we do,” said a PGI employee.
INDEFINITE STRIKE LIKELY FROM MARCH 15
The nurses gathered at Nivedita Hostel and marched towards PGI’ s main ground and held a rally, which was addressed by association president Lakhvinder Singh. He told the nurses to be prepared for an indefinite strike from March 15 to further press for their demands.