Jan 24, 2021 Features / Columnists
By Malisa Playter-Harry
Kaieteur News- Since the spike in Coronavirus cases in the county of Berbice, Region Six, our health-care professionals have had their work cut out for them. It leaves one to ponder on how these health care professionals, who are placed on the frontline, get up every day and decide to head to work knowing they will be at risk. Just a few weeks ago, I int
erviewed a doctor from the Skeldon Hospital and interestingly enough, he had great enthusiasm about serving the people during this challenging time. Here again this week, I have hit the jackpot with yet another similarly compassionate and self-driven doctor.
Like her middle name, Carolyn Blossom Jones has “blossomed” into one of the many female doctors who have chosen to stick their necks out to serve without reservation. I don’t know about you, but it makes me proud that our fellow women are fighting right alongside their male counterparts in helping to save the world, one human at a time.
The 30-year-old Dr. Jones has been working at the New Amsterdam Hospital for the past three years and is one of the six doctors on the Region Six COVID-19 Task Force. Born on October 7, 1990, Dr. Jones has been living up to the meaning linked to her zodiac sign, Libra. This is evident by the fact that caring for others gives her purpose. Since she was long passionate about this, it was only logical that she joined the medical profession.
Although she hails from Lovely Lass Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB), because of her placement as a Government Medical Officer (GMO) she has been living in New Amsterdam.
Dr. Jones said that she attended the Latchmansingh Primary School in the village of Bushlot, WCB and after sitting the National Grade Six Assessment in 2001, she secured a spot at the Berbice High School in New Amsterdam. That, however, proved difficult to attend since she grew up in a single parent home with her mother. Her mother, she recalled, was forced to have her transferred closer to where she lived – the Bushlot Secondary School. That did not deter her from succeeding. She graduated in 2007 at the age of 16 and was eager to further her education. Dr. Jones said she applied at the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) to pursue studies in Education.
CHANGE OF HEART
After applying at CPCE, the GMO said she had a change of heart when a friend told her about the scholarships that are made available by the government.
“I found out more about it and decided to apply to do Medicine. I basically received both (CPCE and the scholarship) acceptance letters around the same time, so of course I chose the Cuban scholarship,” she said. But it wasn’t always her desire to delve into the medical field.
Dr. Jones revealed that when she was younger she suffered from hemophobia (the fear of seeing blood) and so it never dawned on her to pursue studies in Medicine. However, she decided to challenge herself. “I went ahead and chose to do Medicine but I can safely say the career ended up choosing me. Now, I have adapted to the situation and seeing blood, those things doesn’t affect me at all anymore.”
Pursuing Medicine, however, wasn’t as easy as she would have hoped since leaving her family was “one of the hardest sacrifices I have ever had to make,” she confided. But she found solace in the fact that a better life awaited her and the family she left behind. Her decision garnered the support and constant encouragement from her loved ones, she recalled. She spent six years in Cuba and upon her return to Guyana in July 2015; she underwent a one-year internship “collectively at the Mahaicony, Suddie and Fort Wellington hospitals”.
August 24, 2016, Dr. Jones said, was, “one of the most memorable days in my life.” It was the day she successfully graduated as a medical doctor. She worked in various departments until the novel coronavirus swept the country off its feet. She was one of the few doctors chosen to work on the COVID-19 Task Force in Region Six. Her responsibilities include: daily testing, contact tracing, isolating and quarantining of patients.
“My roles and responsibilities are to ensure the safety of our region by containing and reducing the spread of the novel Coronavirus,” she confidently said. Dr. Jones has described her experience during the pandemic as a good one because “it makes me happy knowing I can contribute positively to help slow the spread of the virus.” But although she has had her fair share of challenges, her aim is to never give up.
DEALING WITH PATIENTS
It may be easy for some people to judge our frontline workers merely from looking on from the outside, but many may never be able to fully comprehend what they go through on a daily basis as they combat the pandemic. According to the doctor, there are times when patients are non-compliant after they have been placed into isolation or quarantined. Some, she said, are deceitful when questioned about their whereabouts since they could be labelled a suspected case. In other instances, “patients abscond after being placed into in
stitutional quarantine facilities,” Dr. Jones revealed. But despite the challenges faced, the medical practitioner insists that she has no regrets being a part of the Task Force.
“I work with a really great team of people who are dedicated to executing their duties to the fullest of their capabilities,” she added.
Dr. Jones was among the few doctors who was sent to Orealla, Region One when it was first faced with an outbreak of the virus. In fact, one of her greatest joys is seeing patients recover without complications.
“That gives me a sense of hope and motivation to keep fighting this battle on a daily basis,” Dr. Jones said. She believes that “if we all play our part in following the necessary precautions and guidelines in keeping safe we can triumphantly conquer this pandemic.” She also believes in prayer and noted that keeping optimistic and focused is what pushes her to keep going. For her too, family is the foundation that holds her up. So with all the distractions the pandemic brings, our Frontline Worker this week chooses to unwind at weekends by spending quality time with her loved ones.
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