The Sint Anna Hospital in Geldrop has started an investigation into the mental state of the nursing staff. The corona crisis has severely affected the staff.
“It had a major impact. The hospital had many patients during the corona peak. And the staff was gravely concerned about those patients”, Jan Pieter de Mönnink, the hospital’s head of the medical staff, says.
It cannot be ruled out that there’ll soon be employees who have post-traumatic stress disorder. “We screen our people for this. It depends on the nature of the beast.”
“One person might deal with the situation better than another,” says De Mönnink. “But there are employees who have really suffered from this crisis”. The situation during the corona wave can, in no way, be compared to previous hectic situations, he emphasizes.
“There were large numbers of patients, the lockdown, and visitors weren’t allowed. That led to many emotional moments,” admits Jan Pieter. Paying extra attention to patients was very important.
“That’s what they tried to do by spending a lot of time with patients. I’ve gained tremendous respect for the nurses who sat by patients’ bed for hours. All the while in full personal protective gear.”
Plans for a potential second wave
Things have since gradually calmed down a little at Sint Anna Hospital. However, the plans for a possible second corona wave are already in place. De Mönnink says, “What we will do differently is that we won’t stop providing regular care again.”
A better picture of the coronavirus helps. But De Mönnink also thinks it would be irresponsible to stop regular care again. “There are fewer cancer patients now than last year.”
“That’s actually not possible. There aren’t fewer cancer patients. Those people are simply staying away. If we were to scale down regular care again, new patients would be created,” De Mönnink concludes.
Editor: Melinda Walraven