In Shaare Zedek Medical Center’s first isolation wards for treating coronavirus patients, Keter Unit 1 and 2, there were good vibes. Yep, that’s right. Good vibes…Even during moments of tremendous stress, when the number of patients skyrocketed and the outlook felt bleak, the Keter team — nurses and doctors, cleaners and physiotherapists, social workers and Sherut Leumi (National Service) volunteers, interns and receptionists, orderlies and nursing assistants, security, nursing students, and dietitians — found ways to support each other. They rallied around their coworkers, and very quickly, became a family…That is quite amazing when you consider that this staff comprised volunteers hailing from departments all over the hospital … Each had responded to a text sent out in late February by Shaare Zedek’s administration, calling for volunteers to sign up for the not-yet-formulated popup unit.”
Galia Wollman, a nurse who was among the first to volunteer for Keter Unit 1 shared, “We were working in untenable conditions, and had to adapt quickly to a catastrophic situation…Naturally, we sought ways to cope with the difficulties and the complexity. And those strategies often involved cracking jokes and laughter…We were forced to treat our patients in hazmats that fully cut us off from the outside and erased our identity. Precisely from the forced distancing comes the uncontrollable urge to freely exhibit who we are, our compassion, and the great warmth and connection that developed among the staff.”
Shuli Naftali, a nursing student who was assigned to Keter Unit 5 explained, “I wanted to bring in laughter and fun where I felt it was greatly lacking,” explained Naftali. “I also wanted patients to see that we’re still human, not just medical staff in space suits. I knew that people all over were deeply afraid of the coronavirus. I wanted to capture the notion that there could also be joy within the walls of hospital.”
Please read the entire article for additional details (or use the link to watch the video clips of the staff).