Lee Jayoung

Cronache di un’infermiera di terapia intensiva durante la pandemia: il problema delle carenze

In qualità di infermiera di terapia intensiva in un importante ospedale pubblico di Seul, mi sono trovata a dover fronteggiare il problema delle carenze: carenza di personale, di strutture e di attrezzature adeguate.
South Korea, Eastern Asia

Story by Lee Jayoung. Translated by Daniela Pratesi
Published on July 12, 2022.

This story is also available in GB es kr



La pandemia da Covid-19 ha fatto emergere diversi problemi nel sistema sanitario della Corea del Sud. In qualità di infermiera di terapia intensiva in un importante ospedale pubblico di Seul, mi sono trovata a dover fronteggiare il problema delle carenze: carenza di personale, di strutture e di attrezzature adeguate.

Nel nostro ospedale, il problema più grave era la mancanza di personale medico, dato l’aumento improvviso del numero di pazienti da ricoverare in terapia intensiva. Nell’ultimo anno, il nostro ospedale ha cercato di trovare il modo di risolvere il problema e, invece di assumere altri infermieri, ha deciso di trasferire da noi quelli dei reparti generici, per cui io e i miei colleghi di terapia intensiva ci siamo trovati a dover addestrare le nuove reclute nel lavoro in terapia intensiva. 

Il reparto di terapia intensiva è molto diverso dagli altri reparti. Lavoriamo anche con ventilatori e macchine di ossigenazione extracorporea, e i pazienti devono essere monitorati costantemente. I pazienti di terapia intensiva sono soggetti a incertezze assai maggiori di quelli degli altri reparti. Sono tanti i cambiamenti che gli infermieri generici devono imparare a gestire, e per loro non è stato facile adattarsi. Gli infermieri senior di terapia intensiva, come me, non solo si dovevano prendere cura dei pazienti — anche quelli che dipendevano completamente dalle macchine di supporto vitale – ma avevano anche la responsabilità di addestrare gli infermieri generici. In conclusione, per entrambi è stato un periodo di terribile stress, che ha suscitato lamentele e ha fatto deteriorare l’atmosfera lavorativa.

Per quanto riguarda il problema delle strutture e delle attrezzature, quando il Covid-19 ha colpito Seul – una metropoli grande e affollata, di quasi 10 milioni di abitanti – il numero di pazienti è aumentato esponenzialmente e non è stato possibile ricoverarli tutti.

Gli infermieri senior di terapia intensiva, come me, non solo si dovevano prendere cura dei pazienti, ma avevano anche la responsabilità di addestrare gli infermieri generici. 

Anche in momenti normali, gli ospedali di Seul sono molto affollati e hanno difficoltà a trovare posto a tutti i pazienti. Prima del Covid-19, quanto un ospedale era al completo, i pazienti venivano trasferiti in ambulanza in altri ospedali. Ma, nel caso dei malati di Covid-19, l’ospedale non può usare le normali ambulanze per il trasferimento dei pazienti, perché privi di attrezzature idonee come i ventilatori e i tubi endotreacheali. Per i pazienti di terapia intensiva, servono ambulanze speciali, ma ne esistono poche. A dir la verità, in tutta Seul c’è un’unica autoambulanza che è dotata di tutte le attrezzature per il trasporto dei pazienti di terapia intensiva. Fortunatamente, dal 2015 presso il Seoul National Hospital è operativo il cosiddetto Seoul Mobile Intensive Care Unit (SMICU), un servizio di trasporto pubblico per emergenze in caso di malattie gravi, che rende la situazione leggermente migliore. Il lato negativo è che queste ambulanze non possono andare in altre zone della Corea, seppur anch’esse duramente colpite dal virus. 

Gli ospedali hanno inoltre dovuto creare nuove strutture per il ricovero dei malati di Covid-19. Ma non tutti gli ospedali sono in grado di costruire strutture separate. Ad esempio, nel mio ospedale ci sono due edifici principali: nel primo edificio c’è un unico impianto di ventilazione che serve tutte le zone, mentre il secondo edificio ha un impianto di riscaldamento, ventilazione e aria condizionata separato a ogni piano. Soltanto il secondo edificio può essere usato per il ricovero dei malati di Covid-19, perché il coronavirus si trasmette nell’aria e c’è il rischio che l’impianto di ventilazione faccia circolare l’aria infetta all’interno dell’ospedale. 

Nei notiziari si sente spesso dire che, per via delle epidemie precedenti come SARS (nel 2004) e MERS (nel 2012), la Corea era più preparata a una nuova epidemia rispetto ad altri paesi. In realtà, non lo era, e niente avrebbe potuto preparare la Corea a una pandemia di queste proporzioni.


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Lee Jayoung

Lee Jayoung

Jayoung is a nurse from Seoul, South Korea. She is very passionate about her job and worked in a Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU) for 5 years. Since 2020, she has been working in a Covid-19 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a large Seoul hospital.

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