AMOIZE: Hello Nams! Thank you for agreeing to do this feature with us, just briefly before we get into the questions, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I am a physician assistant(PA) in anesthesiology (Anesthetist), living and working in Atlanta Georgia. I have been married 24 years, and we have a 20 year old daughter.
I arrived in the USA Jan 1985, so I have been living here for 35 years, longer than time spent in my native country of Cameroon. My parents are Cameroonian but I was born in Ibadan Nigeria, September 1966 during the Biafra war. We shortly relocated back home after my birth.
My first career was in Engineering. With a BS in Electrical Engineering and a MS in Biomedical Engineering, I worked as an engineer for 8 years before switching to the medical field. My background in Engineering made the switch smooth as I was able to apply the principles of logical thinking and problem solving learned therein, in the medical field.
My hobbies include, entertaining with close friends and family, tennis, yoga, movies, traveling and new adventures/discoveries.
AMOIZE: We’re going through a global pandemic right now, what is it like being in a medical professional’s position?
It’s certainly not business as usual. Some days are more stressful than others. It’s a constant barrage of information management and updates on how to manage patients presenting with covid-19 symptoms. For many providers, it’s the first time we are experiencing a pandemic in our professional lives. We too, like the general public, have had to come up to speed on the characteristics of covid-19, and how to recognize and manage symptoms.
AMOIZE: Can you tell us what are some of the measures that are in place for your department now?
I work in the surgical department , administering anesthesia to patients presenting for surgery. Patients are required to get tested for covid-19 at least three days prior to scheduled surgery. In urgent/emergent cases with patients showing up at the ER, a rapid test is performed with results returning within 45mins to 1.5 hours. In the event that it’s a trauma that may require immediate surgical attention, the covid test is done but results are not waited for. The case proceeds with all covid-19 precautions in place, just in case the test comes back positive during the middle of surgery.
AMOIZE: How is a typical day now different from before the virus outbreak?
To mention a few
1- The wearing of masks coming into the hospital
2- main entrance to the hospital is closed
3- only 3 entrances open and monitored. All side entrances closed.
4- better population tracking with fewer entrances.
5- temperatures taken at entrance, small verbal questionnaire about travel and possible exposure history. Admittance into the building depends on favorable answers. Trust factor obviously in place.
AMOIZE: What are some challenges that you’re facing in a time like now?
Work force challenges. Due to cancellations of some elective cases, some employees have been furloughed. Other employees are medically compromised so have had to be off for health precautions. Reduced number of providers means more work for the few who remain for a time period. As a result, income levels are altered even if only temporarily, and in some instances, with no clear time when these challenges will resolve. More work fewer staff not a good combination but we thank God for some work all the same, life saving work if I might add.
AMOIZE: How is your family supporting your work now?
My family prays for me every day. I get foot rubs and back rubs as often as I demand them hahahahahahaha. They have been very supportive.
AMOIZE: What has been one good thing that you’ve noticed during this outbreak?
Less traffic on the road going to and from work. Bonding between friends and family. More time to reflect on the meaning of life. Virtual reunions via zoom, of people one has not seen in ages. Sunday service is more intentional as there is no physical church gathering to rush out the door and drive to. You have to be purposeful about making time for praise. The volume of noise in daily life chores (outside of work) overall was lowered for a time, until the George Floyd incident erupted.