If there is ever a need for superheroes and warriors it is now! They are the ones who give us a glimpse of how best we can be.
Our warriors at Sukino have done just that. Despite the extremely unprecedented Covid times, they have held the ropes tight and are helping the most vulnerable people during the pandemic, our patients sail through the storm safely.
Here is the portrait of one such individual who has been working ceaselessly to alleviate the suffering of our patients during this pandemic. I hope her story inspires you just as much as it has us.
To Lakshmi Balaraman, thank you for the work you do!
When did you join Sukino and what is your role here?
My journey with Sukino began on the 11th of October 2017. I joined as a nursing supervisor and haven’t looked back since then.
Why did you consider joining the healthcare industry?
I have always wanted to serve people. It makes me very happy. Working in the healthcare industry allows me to nurture my desire to help others while simultaneously earning a living. So it’s a win-win. I feel this is one industry where you can deeply touch the lives of people and make a significant difference regardless of what you do. You may be either saving lives, helping patients recover, or working behind the scenes to run the show smoothly. But positively impacting the lives of people.
Could you share some memorable moments that have reiterated your faith in the work you do?
Every single smile on the patients’ lips, every little glint of hope in their eyes, and every tear of joy shed after a challenging time reiterates my faith in what I do.
Recently one of our patients had to be shifted to the hospital for medical intervention. The patient was being moved in an ambulance and would reach the hospital in no time. But somehow the look on his wife’s face kept tugging at my heart. Hence, I requested one of our male nurses to accompany them. He stayed there till the son completed all the formalities and the patient was admitted safely. By the time he left, it was almost midnight. Though it was a simple gesture on our part, the acknowledgement we received from the patient’s family has been etched in my memory forever.
We celebrate the birthdays of all our patients. There was an old lady admitted to our facility and her family was in the US. It had been a while since she had been around her loved ones. Instead of just wishing her we decided to do something special for her. We gathered our staff to spend quality time with her. We sang songs, we listened to her stories, our senior medical consultant who is an extremely jovial person cracked jokes, and our music therapist played her favourite tunes on the guitar. I couldn’t hold back tears of joy when I finally saw a smile break out on her lips after a long long time.
For how long have you been working here? Have you ever considered other opportunities? Why not?
I am here for 4 years and I am very clear that I don’t want to leave this place. Very rarely do we come across an organization that helps you grow professionally and personally. Why would I even want to take the risk of working somewhere else and jeopardize my peace of mind?
How are you managing at work during the lockdown?
We have a tough task ahead of us. It’s very difficult to run the show during the lockdown. But this is what I’ve always wanted to do so I can’t complain. I wake up every morning with a single-minded determination that I have to be there for my patients. It is more out of a sense of duty rather than compulsion. I firmly believe that by being present we stand a better chance to help our patients and deal with emergencies.
Hence travelling a long distance is not a deterrent. It has never been. Due to the lockdown, the public transport services are affected so I travel by a colleague in her car. If for any reason my colleague cannot make it, my organization has arranged for a cab for me to commute. But I make it to work no matter what.
I supervise and educate all the nurses and caregivers of my centre. Firstly, because patients need constant attention and reassurance. And secondly, it is important to keep themselves protected so that they do not pass any infection to our patients. We have also ensured that our staff has been vaccinated and have arranged for exclusive transport for them. Periodic Covid tests are being conducted and if anyone tests positive, we isolate them at our facility dedicated to covid care. We follow stringent government hygiene and security protocols.
Aren’t you worried to step out during these times? Isn’t it risky?
Risky maybe, but that is no reason for me to stay at home and risk the lives of our patients. I have already been affected with covid -19 twice and I have tackled the infection head-on. That is because I have made my choice. I don’t want to be defeated by a virus that cannot even thrive on its own. And so I will overcome any challenge the pandemic throws my way and will bounce back with added grit and determination. And if ever I were to waiver, I have my colleagues to remind me. We are a strong team at my organization. And we are connected with a common intention of contributing the best we can during these challenging times.
I am also blessed with an extremely supportive family who understands my role and responsibilities. We all know how important that is. They are proud of what I do and their endless support has played a pivotal role in keeping me consistent. My father whom I lost recently, taught me to be a fighter. And I promised him I would always be one. That promise has never let me bow down to challenges and give up. I know he is watching me from up there. And deep in my heart, I am sure that his blessings will keep me going for a long long time.