One life for another

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This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Wissal Idrissi is 18 years old, a third-year medical student in Fez, Morocco. She is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

“A doctor” is a very common answer when asking children about what they want to be in the future, at least in my circle.

No one can deny that medical professions have plenty of qualities; since their one and only aim is saving lives. In fact, doctors tend to be more close to humanity matters: they can feel pain and happiness, empathize with kids and elderly, take care of their patients, experience all sort of emotions (hope, despair….), but despite this we cannot ignore the several disadvantages of this vocation. One strong example of healthcare professionals’ issues is the risks threatening their safety and security in the workplace.

While saving another person’s life, a health worker can face many troubles which could unfortunately lead to his own death. From the nurse touching an infected blood of a hospitalized patient, to the surgeon catching an air-transmitted virus while operating lately at the end of the day.  And then the most important part related to their mental well being.

In fact, the nature of their work can usually put them under stressful, depressive conditions and other psychological issues. They are ALL exposed in a way or another to harm!

Many factors can cause an imminent danger to the security and safety in hospitals and medical centers. We can mention: the lack of tools and equipment such as: means of personal protection, sterilizing machines…. the workplace is usually disorganized and messy which increases the risks of injuries and accidents.

Another point is the stressful atmosphere imposed by the nature of this work in addition to the long hours and full schedules of working.

We can also add the irresponsibility of some patients; the strongest example is the COVID 19 pandemic; a lot of people are not fully aware of the risks and don’t take the necessary precautions while visiting hospitals and they tend to have close contact with health professionals.

Certainly, the medical staff is completely alerted about the situation, knowing the risks they are facing, usually recognizing how to treat them and looking for efficient solutions to this crisis. However, establishing a collective immunity that unifies definitions and visions remains crucial.

In such situations, health workers find themselves in front of so many challenges at the same time in one place.

Thus, to be more efficient and productive, they should adopt strategies and plans in order to list their priorities and organize their schedules.

Besides, the efforts made to sensitize citizens about the right way to behave and act socially in order to live virus free, we can also conceive a personalized training dedicated to the medial staff; a training that fits our conditions and does not cost time neither heavy financial resources. This urgent training could hopefully help them manage emergency situations and come out of this period with the least casualties.

To conclude, this pandemic has clearly shown all the aspects of our health systems with their qualities and especially flaws; we stumbled upon the truth that we still have a lot to improve as decision makers and as citizens too; by raising awareness among the different parts of our communities.

About the author

Wissal Idrissi is 18 years old, third-year medical student in Fez, Morocco. In 2018, she joined IFMSA Morocco through her local committee FEMSA, where she is holding the position of the local publications support division director for this term. Joining her passion for writing with her honest desire to help people, to raise awareness and fight against current matters, discovering this organization was the best thing that happened to her.

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