A look into the COVID-19 hotline job – Thai PBS World Tonight [21st April 2021]
“Low fever? Loss of taste and low fever? Is your sense of smell working okay?”
This is one of over 300 calls which volunteers are handling, calling back to check on patients, while they wait for hospital beds to become available.
Every day, Panadda Pakdiwiwat, a registered nurse from Sirindhorn National Medical Rehabilitation Institute, faces various challenges, but puts in her best effort to be a good listener to frustrated callers suffering with coronavirus infection and to provide them with guidance and help relieve their frustration.
All the volunteers have full-time jobs, but give up their time to man the hotlines, to facilitate the patient admission process. Each case takes at least 15 minutes.
The hotline team has 20 lines, with three teams working on the job. They take the calls, verify the information and pass the case on to related agencies. Patients calling in are divided into three colour-coded groups, depending on the severity, as assessed by physicians.
Since the hotline was launched on April 10th, there have been almost 2,500 calls from infected patients, almost half of them requested a hospital bed, and over 600 people have already been admitted.