After a nine-hour shift, Dr Davianne de Bruin is relieved to return home to rest. The young doctor has worked at the Brackengate Hospital of Hope for most of the pandemic and is on the frontline once again amid the third wave. Her hope for each day is to save lives as she cares for COVID-19 patients.
“My hardest moment at work is when I hope a patient will make it and then watching them not making it. It’s really not easy. But what brings me joy is watching people, our residents, recover and then getting to tell them that they’re going home to their loved ones.”
While there are fears of a possible fourth wave of COVID-19, Dr de Bruin says the public’s support remains critical.
“We need people to support us by getting vaccinated. This virus is vicious, and we can’t predict how it will affect you. Vaccination is your best weapon to fight it. We must also continue to practice safe behaviour. Stick to the basics by wearing your mask, social distancing, sanitising your hands, and avoiding crowds. We need you to support us as healthcare workers and our healthcare system.
“Our residents end up in hospital due to the virus every day and we need everyone to work together to keep everyone safe. It’s really important to see this pandemic as something not just affecting you as an individual. It’s affecting everyone. By practicing the correct protocol, you are making a difference in not only your own life, but in everyone else’s lives,” she said.
Choosing vaccination is the best way that residents can support healthcare workers. Dr de Bruin has been vaccinated and shares the benefits of vaccination.
“Vaccinations don’t guarantee that we won’t get COVID-19 but it can prevent severe disease and in turn hospitalisation and death. So, in the greater scheme of things, vaccines help to limit the burden of disease, not only on people in the public, but also on our health system and healthcare workers.”
Without the public’s support, overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be easy, especially as many healthcare workers are experiencing fatigue.
“At work, you see a lot of burnout and exhaustion. It’s quiet difficult hearing stories from colleagues, admin teams, doctors and nurses at different healthcare facilities in the province and hearing that they’re not coping at times. The burnout is real and obvious among colleagues.”
Dr De Bruin has appealed to the public to help healthcare workers fight the virus by remaining vigilant and getting their COVID-19 vaccination. Between 1 August 2021 and 22 August 2021, healthcare workers at the Brackengate Hospital of Hope had cared for 909 COVID-19 patients. By 23 August 2021, the facility was at 80 percent capacity with 269 patients.
While we continue efforts to fight the virus, we call on all residents to remain vigilant by practicing safe behaviour and to register for vaccination. If you have not registered yet and need assistance, please visit your nearest vaccination site if you are 18 years and older.
You can also register for to get vaccinated:
• visiting https://vaccine.enroll.health.gov.za/#/ (the link can also be found on www.westerncape.gov.za)
• dialling 134832# and follow the prompts (FREE on all South African Networks)
• WhatsApp the word REGISTER to 0600 123456.
For queries about registration, please call 0860 142 142.