Tygerberg Hospital heroes – unit for infection prevention and control (IPC) team
This week’s nominated coronavirus heroes amongst us at Tygerberg Hospital (TBH), the Unit for Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) team, provides an essential service to the public during these challenging times. The hero amongst us campaign seeks to highlight an official’s achievements, abilities or personal qualities during the COVID-19 pandemic. In the eyes of hospital staff, the official or a group can also be regarded as role models or ideal.
The IPC team worked intensively from early February 2020 in preparation for the first COVID-19 patients to be admitted to Tygerberg Hospital, doing staff training, personal protective equipment (PPE ) logistics, policy development, reviewing IPC adherence in the wards, and assisting with triage and screening at Entrance 5 and the tent. Despite the additional COVID-19 workload and activities, the IPC nurse practitioners and team continued to support all their existing modules and routine IPC work.
‘Working in IPC can sometimes be very challenging, especially during outbreaks, and the COVID-19 pandemic was a particularly difficult time. But working in IPC is also stimulating – it’s often about problem-solving or finding solutions to a variety of challenges e.g. clinical, infrastructural, logistic or administrative issues. Supporting patient and occupational safety at TBH is a critical responsibility that the IPC team are committed to delivering – COVID-19 has really reinforced the importance of IPC for all healthcare workers,’ said Associate Professor Dramowski.
In Prof. Dramowski’s view, the hospital has made it easier for the team and her colleagues during the pandemic. ‘The TBH management team worked collaboratively with staff to ensure that problems and challenges that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic were rapidly addressed. In particular, the prompt and honest sharing of information regarding staff infections, PPE and other priority issues was appreciated.’
She concluded: ‘We encourage staff to keep practicing the public health measures we’ve embraced during COVID-19 for example hand hygiene, surface cleaning and staying home when sick, as these will also support occupational and patient safety going forward.’