Nurses, the angels with white clothes, endure the hardships of the difficult days of pandemic coronavirus, though tired but hopeful and strong, and have persevered with sacrifice to save the sick from suffering. Sima Tahamtan, a diligent and hardworking nurse, with her compassion for the sufferings of the patients and anxiousness of the families, gives meaning to the word “self-sacrifice”.
Four hundred fifty-five days have passed since the official announcement of the outbreak of the emerging Covid-19 disease in Iran. Today, fears of a pandemic of Coronavirus have disturbed daily activities and inevitably shut them down. But, in the meantime, the white clad women from the medical sector, have been working hard to serve their fellow countrymen and women, since the unknown virus emerged. Sima tahamtan, the Zoroastrian head nurse in the CCU of Firouzabadi Hospital, backed by 25 years of experience, has been trying to recover her painful injury and restore peace to worried families since the beginning of the spread of Covid-19 disease by working at the bedside of acute respiratory patients. The word nurse unconsciously reminds every listener of a pure, selfless human being: loving people full of passion for life and hope. This love and vitality are flowing in the speech of Sima Tahman. The eldest child of the family was born in the month of March, a promising month of growth and development. In 1991, she received a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Shiraz University and went to Shiraz from Tehran. After four years of acquiring knowledge and skills in scientific principles of nursing and professional skills of patient care, treatment and education, she graduated.
In 1995, young Sima, a 24-year-old graduate, began a two-year service commitment program at the Firoozabadi Hospital in Rey, under the auspices of the University of Iran, and was officially hired. Since then, she has worked in the surgery, gynecology, pediatrics, and general internal medicine departments. After that, Sima has been working in the emergency department of Firoozabadi specialized hospital for ten years. Thereafter, Sima has been working as the head-nurse of the CCU and supervisor for evening and night shifts. For five years, in addition to being the head-nurse of the CCU, she has provided training in the infection control base for recently arrived nurses in the hospital. In the clinical supervision position, she has been responsible for coordinating between all departments of the hospital and managing various affairs, and in this regard, management training for final year nursing students to be ready to accept the position of head-nurse and supervisor and training with the help of nurses. Sima Tahamtan, a model nurse, has been commended several times for her valuable efforts and patient satisfaction.
Sima tahamtan was married in 1997. For her only child, Kimia, she has been an example of tolerance, sacrifice and fortitude. “I overlooked celebrations, parties, trips and passing time with family. I spent 25 New Year’s outdoor picnics (13-bedar) in the hospital.”
I don’t remember how many nights I left my daughter with fever to go and care for the sick children of worried mothers. Despite all these difficulties, seeing patients smiling after their patients are discharged is as delightful as the sweetness of my child’s recovery. But, this last year and 4 months of my service has passed very bitterly because of the Corona disaster and unbelievable deaths…
Compassionate nurses help us to survive this storm of the coronavirus pandemic. At the end of our conversation, I asked Sima to give us some guidelines for avoiding getting sick and passing safely through these difficult times of the Coronavirus, and also practical tips for patients with coronavirus:
Some practical tips for these bitter days of Covid-19
1- Following hygienic protocols: wearing the mask and keeping physical distance are two simple strategies to control the coronavirus (using gloves and hand sanitizer cannot replace proper hand washing: wash your hands wherever is possible.)
Proper use of the mask, if a three-layer surgical mask is used, it should be changed after 4 hours or if it gets wet and not used for several days in a row. The outside layer of the masks are contaminated. We should not touch the mask and then touch our eyes, nose, etc. The mask must sit on the entire face. It should be fixed and not loose. So use the correct size of the mask. Do not take off the mask when sneezing, coughing, and talking to others. Keep a physical distance of two meters).
2- Drink plenty of liquids, fresh fruits, and vegetables. It is better not to use allergenic fruits, such as strawberries, melons, kiwis, Persian melons. Instead, it is better to eat carrots and red apples.
3- If possible, it is better to get vitamin D from the sun; otherwise, take 1000 or 2000 IU of vitamin D capsules daily, or one 50,000 IU capsule every two weeks.
4- People with diabetes and high blood pressure, and heart and respiratory disease should control their illness under the supervision of a doctor because corona challenges this group of patients.
5- Avoid gaining weight and exercise at home or walk every day.
6- There is no need to wash or sanitize your wallet, bank card, and outwear each time after using them. Instead, do not touch your eyes, nose and ears after touching any surface, and wash your hands.
7- Avoid going to crowded places with closed spaces (indoors) during the red situation of cities. If forced, try to have the shortest time, and after leaving, be sure to change your mask and wash your hands.
8-Avoid worry and anxiety.
Here are some tips for patients with Covid-19:
1- Stay at home and rest as long as you can, but do not stop moving to avoid embolism.
2- It is better to sleep on the right side of the abdomen and your head should be 30 degrees higher than the body.
3- Use more hot liquids (tea, soft drinks, honey, lemon juice, etc.)
4- Do not eat spicy and fried foods. Use fresh fruits, especially carrot juice.
5- Do not use perfumeو and aloes-wood and frankincense.
6- If you have a fever or body aches, eat Paracetamol or Naproxen every 8 hours.
7- During the illness, even if you are in an excellent general condition, do not go to public places for 14 days because you are a carrier, and you can transmit this disease.
8- At home, you do not need to lock yourself in your room. You can be two meters away from the rest of the family. Use a tissue when coughing and sneezing. Do not be alone with the elderly or people with certain diseases.
9- See a doctor whenever you suffer from chest pain, fever, and severe shortness of breath, otherwise in mild cases such as colds, resting and using warm liquids, nutritious food, and fresh fruit, your health will improve.
10- If you have been in contact with a patient with COVID, until 14 days after the contact, in case you have any of the symptoms of sore throat and body aches and lethargy and fever and anorexia, and shortness of breath, you are likely to have been infected with the virus, and so you should observe the above. Wishing all good health.
We are extremely grateful to all the dedicated health workers. Serving in the epicenter of the disease and bearing up the difficulties of wearing special coverage is not an easy task. Working in such conditions is only possible by those who are adorned with humane traits.