Dr. Hiba Abu Ziad | 36 | Yafia | Director of the Infection Prevention Unit at Peda-Poria Hospital (Photograph: Maya Tzaban)
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"Follow the Health Ministry's guidelines. It's the best way to help us now." | The Essentials.

Dr. Hiba Abu Ziad | 36 | Yafia | Director of the Infection Prevention Unit at Peda-Poria Hospital | #JobInterview

24.03.2020, 9:00

Gender: My unit is responsible for preventing the spread of the covid-19 virus in the hospital, so that staff members do not go into isolation due to exposure of virus in the hospital, and that patients will not get infected or infect others. We are literally a handful of people, most of us are women, working together.

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On the move: My workday is very disorganized, but it's work, and it's all day and all night. I started the day sitting down with my staff, and we divided the responsibilities for briefing all other staff of all hospital departments about the new protection guidelines. Then I went to the Covid-19 ward to see how the patients are doing and to check the conditions of the ward, where all the verified patients are, including high-risk patients. I also did rounds of other departments and in the delivery room, and there was also a board meeting on the general preparation of the hospital. To top all that, I also receive calls all day from doctors who ask about patients hospitalized with other infectious diseases. The usual work and patients continue.

From guideline to guideline: We are continually issuing guidelines to protect staff for the entire hospital. We have new guidelines – how to work routinely, how to hospitalize patients who go to the ER, and what protective measures each department requires – in the ERs, outpatient clinics, and ear nose and throat where they are more vulnerable than others. The guidelines vary on who you are, what action you take on the patient, and whether you treat a known patient. Our instructions are derived from the Ministry of Health's guidelines, and each time they are updated, the new guidelines are re-written for the hospital. The guidelines need to be clear, and the department's staff must be instructed on how to implement the latest changes.

Inventory: I'm also responsible for having enough personal protective equipment for everyone. Hospital management takes care of the stock, the maintenance, and that there is no waste. I have a friend that works as a doctor in a hospital in Madrid, where every morning, they provide protective measures to each staff member by the number of their patients because they do not have enough. We don't want to get to that situation, and we probably won't, because we are making sure there will be enough.

Small moments: In addition to the tremendous work pressure, there is great emotional pressure. It's not simple, not for the team I'm in charge of, and neither for my family and myself. I try to find small moments during the day – to sit down for a coffee or to spend some time with my family and my kids. These are the things that calm me down. Luckily, I have a very supportive family and a very supportive spouse. There have been many days lately that I got home only after my children went to bed, and I did not see them at all.

Request: We know that the restrictions on hospital visitors are making it difficult for many people. However, It's for the protection of us and the patients. Follow the Ministry of Health's guidelines. This is the best way to help us now.


Brought to press with the help of the International Relations Division of the Histadrut