Groote Schuur Hospital clerk plays supportive role in death administration | Western Cape Government


Groote Schuur Hospital clerk plays supportive role in death administration

7 October 2020

Groote Schuur Hospital (GSH) values self-reflections to enable employees to take a step back, reflect on the current COVID-19 situation, integrate learnings, plan and celebrate both personal and professional accomplishments. The employee who reflects this week is Joey Hector, a clerk in the GSH Death Administration Department.

“Our department interacts with funeral undertakers and the family after the death of a patient. This includes getting all relevant documentation to the undertakers so that funeral arrangements can be made. Where required, we also assist families when they are not able to bury the patient,” is how Joey describes their duties at the hospital.

“When COVID-19 pandemic started at the hospital we had to implement new regulations. This included person protective equipment for staff in our department and for the undertakers when they collect the bodies. The undertakers also had to fetch the bodies within an hour after the patient has passed away - with strict safety measures in place. Most communication with families was now done over the telephone as per the social distancing regulations,” reflects Joey, who has worked for the hospital for 32 years.

He never thought that COVID-19 would come to South Africa so soon when hearing about it earlier this year. “I heard about this virus in China and then it just spread and the next moment it was here at Groote Schuur Hospital. The peak for COVID-19 hospital deaths per day increased by more than 50% and that really opened our eyes. The fear just increased. I have a family at home, with a daughter who is pregnant. We all had to take the necessary precautions.”

COVID-19 has taught all of us many lessons, and for Joey it was that, “Learn to trust and follow the set-out safety regulations because they are there for a reason. In my personal life, the biggest lesson is for me to take care of my own health.”

“I am very thankful to the hospital management for all the support that staff received during COVID-19. We always felt safe and were also given the necessary support in terms of counselling from the Wellness team when needed. We were educated and that ensured we could implement those same precautions in our households and communities.”

“Be more alert, be more aware. Watch the news and see what is going on around the world. In developed countries there is already a second wave, so let us continue to remain cautious, and prevent a second wave,” added Joey. 

Media Enquiries: 

Alaric Jacobs
Communications Officer
Groote Schuur Hospital
Cell - 083 412 5608