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The Most Human Moments: A Photographed Visit to Bnei Zion Medical Center Israel today


| SupplementsThe corona wards work around the clock, and the growing morbidity in the second wave only exacerbates the situation. Yanai Finkelstein from the Sterile Supply Department performs a sterilization process for medical devices Photography:  Micha Brickman "Do not see the end" Dr. Anna Sopolov,  a senior intensive care physician, now the director of the Corona Department, "Last February, the

The corona wards work around the clock, and the growing morbidity in the second wave only exacerbates the situation.

  • Yanai Finkelstein from the Sterile Supply Department performs a sterilization process for medical devices


    Micha Brickman

"Do not see the end"

Dr. Anna Sopolov, 

a senior intensive care physician, now the director of the Corona Department,

"Last February, the hospital management contacted me and told me about the future to come.

There is an epidemic in the doorway and a new ward will be established - the Corona ward.

As a senior physician in the intensive care unit, even then it was clear that the director of the corona department needed to be an expert in respiration.

The feeling was that they were going into the unknown.

There is a new disease - what is it?

What will we meet?

What is the best treatment, who is the most suitable staff?

What is required of him? 

Dr. Anna Sopolov // Photo: Micha Brickman

"Until then, we were fed up with reports in the media that presented catastrophes: masses of very serious patients, physical and mental stress of the treating staff, many deaths, no clear picture of illness. And of course there was the great fear of being infected. But how are we infected? How do we protect ourselves? Will we lose patients? Will we fail or succeed? I almost gathered a team overnight, took the best from each ward, and felt like I was going to war. 

"I will not forget the first patient in the ward, already at the beginning of March, a patient who returned from abroad and carried the virus with him.

He was the only one for one day only.

More and more followed.

Patients in critical condition who had to be anesthetized and women.

We adapted to the new reality quickly, there was not much choice either.

But we were as highly motivated as an elite unit during war. 

"The compensation was that I got to know a lot of doctors, new brothers and sisters I had not known before, a team that is like a new family. The mobilization, the shared and so-specific and different experience, created something bigger than its parts. And so we live to this day - insanely intense. "For half a year now I have only been working around the clock, no hobbies, no pastimes, no private time. And unfortunately I do not see any end or relief." 

"Synergy between body and mind"

Dr. Nasser Huash is the

director of the obstetric anesthesia unit, currently a senior anesthesiologist in the Corona department 

"When the epidemic broke out I felt I had to be part of the combat team. As an anesthesiologist it was clear to me that I was committed. I work every day in the ward and drive 24/7, bouncing frequently from home to ward. The work is hard and challenging, the protection is tiring and abrasive, the treatment times and efforts required of us Growing. 

Dr. Nasser Huash // Photo: Micha Brickman

“There is of course the sense of satisfaction of saving a life, every patient who is discharged is a happy day in the ward.

The hospitalized stay here for a long time, isolated, and I try very hard to create an intimate and human connection.

The staff is also very cohesive, family and supportive, and provides good energy that passes to patients.

I keep it in my head all the time - to maintain high morale, vitality and unity with the team, and I believe with all my heart that this is one of the parameters for achieving health and victory.

I am a doctor who believes in the synergy between body and mind.

We are at war with a stubborn and sophisticated virus, and in the end we will defeat it. " 

Ina Greenberg, a registered nurse, defends from head to toe, just before entering the shift in the Corona Department // Photo: Micha Brickman

"At the end of a shift I go out into the air, just want to breathe"

Lina Halon is 

a nurse in charge of the Department of Gastroenterology, currently a nurse in the Corona Department 

"I have worked for Bnei Zion for 32 years. I have already seen everything, I have been through wars, terrorist attacks, and what not. Therefore, when they announced the opening of the Corona ward at the hospital, even before they asked me to volunteer, it was clear to me that we needed personnel with extensive experience in intensive care. the matter.

Nurse Lina Halon // Photo: Micha Brickman

"The first day in the ward was the hardest. The defense before entering, the double mask. I had a severe feeling of suffocation, shortness of breath and discomfort will be remembered forever. I took a deep breath, tried to calm myself and encourage myself that I could, And I went into the ward. The moment of entry and meeting with the patients was common, and as soon as I was inside I was faced with the task of saving lives. Humor is very helpful, and of course the sense of mission and satisfaction. For a moment I did not regret volunteering. 

"I have a son of a doctor and a daughter studying law. They are upset, afraid I will get infected. I laugh, trying to reassure them that there is no danger of getting infected inside the ward, that the danger is outside. 

Ayelet Schultz, a registered nurse, has completed a shift in the ward and is waiting in the spread room for the infection prevention team, ahead of an orderly spread process // Photo: Micha Brickman

"One of the most difficult moments was when I had to inform the patient that his wife, who also fell ill in Corona, had died at another hospital. I take solace in the fact that he recovered and was released to his home." 

"In this wave people are deteriorating fast"

Dorit Dekel is 

an intensive care nurse, currently an intensive care nurse in the Corona ward

"After 34 years as an intensive care nurse, it was clear to me that I was settling in when looking for volunteers for the Corona Department. I was not afraid at all, I felt I was before an interesting professional experience.

Nurse Dorit Dekel // Photo: Micha Brickman

"We are on 12-hour shifts - going in for three hours, going out, resting and coming back. The procedure of undressing and defending is long and tedious: overalls, masks, ankles, two pairs of gloves, a mask, a plastic mask and a hat on it. When we go out we are bound to shower with antiseptic soap. Shift you just want to sit and breathe.

"It is difficult to work without contact, without personal contact, when the patient is also isolated. Very frustrating. The big advantage is that since it is not allowed to just go out, we are constantly around the patient who really needs it. He is terribly anxious because he is life threatening and you only try to calm down with his eyes.

Marina Portnoy, a registered nurse in the neonatal ward, is surrounded by dozens of babies born during the first wave of the corona // Photo: Micha Brickman

"In the second wave, these days, the number of patients is greater and we have the same number of staff, we are worn out. People deteriorate very quickly, the disease is severe. It should not be underestimated. But there is satisfaction. I am part of the fight against a global epidemic, trying to learn and understand the virus. "There is a single pride and there is a team that has become a family."

"When not to touch, I learned to smile at the children with my eyes"

Nofar Moati-Azenkot (the clown "Mama") The

medical clown of Bnei Zion on behalf of the "Dream Doctors" association 

"Since March I have not been allowed to touch children, and my smile is hidden behind a mask. At first I was helpless - how can I be a medical clown without a smile and without touch? 

Nofar Moati-Azenkot // Photo: Micha Brickman

"Slowly I learned to 'smile with my eyes', I put smiles on the mask. It is also forbidden to blow soap bubbles through the mouth and play the harmonica, so I brought a guitar, and bubbles are made by hand. 

"The hardest thing is that there is no contact, when a child goes through a difficult medical procedure and I can not hold his hand. I try to reach their hearts through the music, through the words, through the looks. I talk a lot more today and use a lot of eyes and make a lot of laughs around the corona. With a lot of humor, even older people need it, especially those who come to the emergency room, before diagnosis. 

A moment of excitement, even in the days of Corona: Congratulations to the newlyweds who gave birth to their first child with the help of Talia Horowitz, a certified midwife.

It was the first time Talia gave birth with protection on her face // Photo: Micha Brickman

"In general, my advantage as a medical clown is the eye-level discourse. There are no partitions, so people feel comfortable talking honestly about anxiety and so I can calm down."

Disinfection operation at Bnei Zion Medical Center // Photo: Micha Brickman

"There is an epidemic here and it is severe"

Aya Eshel is 

 a nurse in charge of the maternity ward, currently a nurse in charge of the corona ward

"The head nurse of the hospital asked me to be part of the staff of the new corona ward. I very much appreciate the hospital staff, and to refuse was not an option. I left my much-loved maternity ward, the happy and healthy ward, and entered the corona ward, into the unknown.

Nurse Aya Eshel // Photo: Micha Brickman

"The first patient arrived on the eve of my wedding day. Just as I was getting ready to leave for a romantic evening with my husband, I was notified of his arrival. Needless to say the celebration did not materialize. The first wave was heroic and initial, everyone wanted to donate and help, some were very ill and some had to Go through a long rehabilitation.Then we went down in the number of patients until the ward closed.We were in euphoria, we felt we had won and that it was behind us. 

Abe Zuckerman, deputy administrative director at Bnei Zion, initiated contact with the Meir Panim organization, which produced stickers with photos of the faces and names of staff members in the Corona ward, in order to maintain the personal connection between patients and therapists.

In the photo: Susie Ratner from the Institute of Physical Therapy // Photo: Micha Brickman

"The second wave also caught me on the way to a family outing, my husband and our five children, on the way to a ventilation holiday in the Sea of ​​Galilee, and then an urgent message arrives from the Ministry of Health that we must reopen the ward within 24 hours. In this case the vacation did not materialize. 

"We were flooded with patients at an increasing rate, the second wave is much harder. The patients are harder sick, younger and without background illnesses. The staff works much harder and the lack of skilled manpower is noticeable. 

From the first wave, the seamstresses worked at Bnei Zion Medical Center to match uniforms to the workers in the corona department, to mark them and to make sure that these uniforms are in good condition, suitable for wearing and in stock as required.

Laundry workers deliver about 400 items to the department every day, after undergoing quality control, ironing and folding // Photo: Micha Brickman

"It is difficult to convey the feeling of intensity in the ward. Since maintaining sterility is an acute matter, any operation is very cumbersome and time consuming. It starts with endless protection at the ward entrance, food or medicine introduction, long sterilization processes, invasive procedure for the patient. Corona patients need supervision every minute. The follow-up must be especially close to the person being resuscitated because there are turbulent dynamics around them.

"I want to tell people - help us help you. There is an epidemic here and it is difficult and dangerous for the general public. Let's act responsibly."

Rest of a laboratory woman, after a 16-hour shift.

The workload on the laboratory workers increased after corona tests were added to the routine tests since the beginning of the epidemic, and the shifts became more intensive // ​​Photo: Micha Brickman

Micha Brickman's photo exhibition is on display at the Bnei Zion Medical Center in Haifa.

The exhibition will run until the end of 2020, and is currently only open to staff and visitors.

The series of portrait photographs of the staff members was selected for the "Local Testimony" exhibition, the annual exhibition for press photography and documentation that is presented in parallel with World Press Photo, the oldest and most prestigious international exhibition for press photography.

Source: israelhayom

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