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Home Global Activities Taiwan COVID-19 Ward Opened at Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, Superintendent Takes on First Shift

COVID-19 Ward Opened at Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, Superintendent Takes on First Shift

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"Staff of Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital are participant, not bystander, in this war against Covid-19 virus.” Dr. Chien Sou-hsin emphasized. Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital set up a Covid-19 dedicated ward within two days.

Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital opened Covid-19 dedicated ward on May 29 and began admission of Covid-19 patients. Dr. Chien Sou-hsin, Superintendent of Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, expressed his gratitude toward departments of general affairs, engineering and maintenance affairs, information technology, nursing, medical affairs, and administration for their dedication and support to make this possible in one day. He also thanked vendors for their assistance. All their help was required to complete this mission and pass the inspection of local health department. He pointed out that pandemic was at a very serious level in Taiwan. Considering incoming patients from greater Taipei area or local Taichung, the need for beds would surely increase.

Staff reached a consensus that a faster response than the speed of spreading pandemic was the goal. They worked around the clock. Engineering and Maintenance staff were busy with construction. Nurses helped to move beds and medical equipment. General Affairs staff cleaned all surface. Information Technology staff installed video conference equipment. Dr. Chien emphasized that staff of Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital were participant, not bystander, in this war against Covid-19 virus.

Covid-19 dedicated ward is set up at 10% of acute ward’s capacity. Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital selected an independent ward and renovated to contain 19 individual rooms. Renovation followed rules of infection controls. Nursing station and hallway are separated by wooden wall and acrylic window. This protects medical personnel from infection. Medical personnel who go into and out of the ward have to be in full personal protection equipment (PPE). They also have to follow infection control standards in dressing and removing PPE. All medical personnel have to wear two layers of PPE and use a protection shield when treating patients. They follow the designated traffic flow, marked by different colored tapes on the floor, for infection controls. All these measures are levels of insurance to safeguard everyone’s health and safety.

Every room in this dedicated ward is equipped with two-way video conference equipment. Patients can press the call bottom and start video conference with medical personnel at the nursing station. Medical personnel can observe patients through live video to help them with their needs as soon as possible. Dr. Chien indicated that although renovation was completed under very pressing time constraint, supporting staff were very careful in compliance with all infection control standards and safety details. So medical personnel can be rest assured of their safety when going into the dedicated ward to care for patients.

"Here in the dedicated ward, I am a physician on duty responsible for patient care. I will remind other physicians about safety procedure. They will watch out for me too. We will look after nurses. Together we are a team.” Chien said.

After the dedicated ward went into service, Dr. Chien Sou-hsin, Superintendent of Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, volunteered to serve the first shift. He pointed out that superintendent is an important benchmark for the medical team providing care. When superintendent goes on the front line and picks up the duty to care for patients, this means all protocols have been tested and passed. After superintendent lead by example, medical department heads also lead physicians to rotate on shifts. Together with shifts of nurses, they took good care of patients.

Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital received the mission to set up Covid-19 dedicated ward on May 27. Ms. Chuang Shuting, Deputy Superintendent, immediately lead staff from administration, medical affairs, nursing and other supporting function to perform site review. On May 28, renovation was completed. Safety check for infection control process flow was passed. At noon on the same day, local health department came to the hospital to inspect. Official notice was received after successfully passed government inspection. This dedicated ward went into service on May 29. In this war to combat Covid-19 virus, everyone is an unnamed hero.

Article by Shun-de Ma
Photos by Shun-de Ma and Shang-Ci Shu

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