Jan 10, 2021 News
Helping to make a difference by saving lives…
By Sharmain Grainger
Kaieteur News – For most of his 12-year career in the health sector, Nandaram Datt has been a part of the fast-pace setting of the Emergency Room (ER) at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). But when he heard that plans were being set in motion to launch a national Emergency Medical Service (EMS) in 2016, he was eager to be a part of that initiative.
“I was enthusiastic to be a part of EMS since I realised persons would now be able to receive medical attention before arriving at the hospital,” Datt shared during a recent interview.
The 33-year-old Datt, who hails from Canal Number One, West Bank Demerara, attended the Canal Number One Nursery School, then the Mc Gillivray Primary School before moving on to St. Rose’s High. His desire for being in the health care system was satisfied after he completed a diploma in Nursing at the Georgetown School of Nursing.
With the ER experience he gained subsequently, Datt was an easy pick when Director of EMS, Dr. Zulfikar Bux, started recruiting persons to be trained as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).His training was facilitated by a visiting team of paramedics and consultants in EMS from the Vanderbilt Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, United States.
In June 2016, Datt was appointed Chief EMT and has no regret that he chose to delve into this aspect of health care. But it has been no walk in the park for him.
He has had to juggle family life with his career, which he takes pride in doing.
Datt is husband to registered nurse, Rajshree Dat, and father to eight-year-old Rahul and three-year-old Ranvier.
Although he is dedicated to his family, he insisted, “my passion lies in helping to save as many lives as possible.”
Explaining what a typical work day for him is like, Datt said, “Wow! It is hectic but I try to ensure a smooth flow of the EMS operations, ambulances are in working order and stocked with supplies and adequately staffed. I attend meetings and I go on ambulance calls to assist EMTs or communicate via radio with them as it relates to patient care.”
Since COVID-19, he added, there has been continuous training for staff to ensure they meet international standards when responding to COVID-19 patients.
The EMS team, he revealed, consist of three administrative staffers and 74 EMTs.
Datt, like his colleagues, understand all too well the importance of such a service. Speaking of this recently, he passionately revealed, “EMS is extraordinary and of huge benefit to members of the public. We have so far attended to 15,798 persons with medical trauma and gynaecological issues over the past few years. We have saved four persons who went into cardiac arrest, 17 babies were delivered either at home or on the way to the hospital, and countless persons who were involved in motor vehicle accidents were stabilised and transported safely to the hospital. Persons’ conditions probably would have deteriorated, or worse, they could have even died without EMS interventions.”
The most memorable case he has dealt with was one where a male patient went into cardiac arrest while being transported to hospital. During that trip, Datt was able to resuscitate that patient by performing Cardiacpulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
But Datt is concerned that there are some in society who do not have an appreciation for such a needed service. “Often there is no respect for EMTs. Some members of the public do not cooperate with us when we arrive on the scene; some even give false information to the dispatchers when calls are made requesting an ambulance. We get quite a few prank calls,” he related.
Another worrying factor is that there have been delays to the expansion of EMS, Datt noted. “It would be a dream come through to see all Guyanese receiving pre-hospital care when needed. Lives would be saved, and persons would be transported safely to a health facility in a timely manner,” he added.
But Datt’s spirit is not daunted. He believes that the negative view of EMS could be thwarted with public awareness. Once this is done, he believes that expanding the service to every region could become a reality. With the training and development of EMTs to the status of paramedics, the service is expected to become even better, he noted.
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