Periods and PPEs: Stories of Women Healthcare Workers
Managing a period on a regular day is tough enough, so how do these healthcare workers manage while on COVID duty?
(Creative Producer: Kunal Mehra; Illustrations: Arnica Kala)
(India’s national doctors day is celebrated on 1 July in honour of the birth and death anniversary of the physician and second Chief Minister of West Bengal, Dr Bidhan Chandra Roy. This doctors day falls in the middle of a pandemic where doctors are fighting on the frontlines against coronavirus. FIT is republishing this video today to celebrate our frontline warriors.)
“I was nearly half-expecting to see a bloodbath situation down there.”Janki Chaudhary, Medical Intern, Sion Hospital
Working while on your period is always tough, but for these COVID-19 warriors, their stories are never heard.
Janki says her periods by itself are tough, “They have always been this messy, painful chaotic affair. And add to that mix PPE, then it's a whole new animal.”
How are women healthcare workers working in COVID-19 wards and ICUs while wearing PPEs and on their periods?
Working in a COVID ward is tough enough with the long hours of handling critical patients, wearing bulky and uncomfortable PPE suits, no water or using the bathroom for the duration of the 8-9 hour shift.
Meet Dr Kamna, an anesthesiologist who wonders why having periods makes her superhuman, or Dr Sumedha who powered through her shift only to feel weak and dizzy afterwards and then finally realise she has her periods.
Then there is staff nurse Linda Rose who says her male supervisors are supportive of shift changes according to their menstrual cycles. Janki says working in a PPE makes her feel like “I am swimming in a pool of my own sweat. Everything was drenched, even the pad.”
Listen to their stories as they speak about something women professionals rarely do: managing our periods while on duty.
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