The country’s main children’s hospital has become a home and humanitarian hub for hundreds of children and adults. And all this is led by a fragile, but strong-willed woman – Elena Primak
The chief nurse of Okhmatdyt, “Elena Primak spoke about military everyday life in the hospital / Photo: Collage: Today
Chief Nurse of the National Children’s Specialized Hospital “Okhmatdet” Elena Primak with the support of colleagues turn the clinic into a single “organism”where all this time the war with Russia accumulated help from all over the world and distributed it throughout Ukraine.
Nurses and junior staff every day they did everything in their power and even more, so that both small and adult patients of “Okhmatdet” were provided with everything necessary. Elena herself is 42 years old, of which 21 she worked as a nurse anesthetist in cardio resuscitation.
Elena Primak, the chief nurse of Okhmatdyt, managed to turn the clinic into a single “organism” that saves human lives / Photo: vogue.ua
Take care of safety and support the team – first thoughts
Since March 2021, she has been working as the chief nurse at the country’s leading children’s hospital. The woman says that she had no doubts that she will stay in Ukrainein the already native hospital.
To the sound of a siren, I ran to the subway to get to work, and people with suitcases were running nearby, – says Elena, – however, I clearly understood that I should be in the hospital: I had to organize a lot of things, determine who was hiding in which bomb shelters, make food and water supplies and to support nurses.
The woman saw their confused eyes, full of tears. Of course, Elena herself was confused, but she knew that she should not show weakness. It was necessary to maintain a positive attitude so that the medical staff calmly performed their duties.
How Okhmatdet worked all this time: military everyday life of the hospital
In addition, it was necessary to quickly and in a safe place equip the operating room, resuscitation rooms. And also – a triage yard to quickly sort patients and distribute them according to the complexity of injuries and injuries. Yellow, green, red zones – for quick assistance.
It fell on my shoulders. Together with the head of resuscitation, we completed the resuscitation room, – Elena Primak recalls, – my children helped. Together we set up monitoring, hung infusion pumps, laid out and signed things in cabinets, labeled consumables.
Even my older sisters were sometimes confused, like little children. It was necessary to coordinate them, to help. By the way, each of the medical staff had to be provided with medicine – they are living people with their own diseases. Elena took over the coordination of humanitarian aid.
It was convenient for volunteers to deliver aid to Okhmatdet, but here it was accumulated and redistributed to other regions / Photo: Getty Images
It was necessary to find volunteers, organize lists, coordinate and accept help. As a result, the working day began at six in the morning and ended, it happened, at two in the morning. These are endless calls, negotiations with volunteers and foundations – what you need, in what quantity, where to take it.
There were many questions; phone calls from all over the world. When different time zones, it happened non-stop. Of course, I could not answer the call, Elena says, “we needed any help that we could provide in the world.
“Okhmatdet” is located in such a city that it was convenient for volunteers to deliver goods there. And here aid was already accumulated and redistributed to other regions: Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Pryluky, Kyiv region, etc.
All these days, since the beginning of the war with Russia, “Okhmatdet” is not only a hospital, but also a home for hundreds of children and their parents / Photo: instagram.com/ohmatdyt
Volunteers added optimism to Elena and her colleagues. Ordinary strangers. They both provided help and asked for it. People invested their money, their time, instead of lying on the couch or doing personal things, they gave everything.
The profession of a doctor is not a feat, but a duty, says a nurse
Choosing a medical profession, a person must understand that in difficult moments he is needed at work. Elena does not condemn anyone, this is a personal choice for everyone.
Yellow, green, red zones – Okhmatdet patients were placed so that they could quickly provide assistance / Photo: instagram.com/ohmatdyt
However, speaking about herself and colleagues, the woman notes that they have chosen such a profession, and this is not a feat, but a duty to stay at work and do their job: help the wounded, the sick.
My front is my hospital, which a year later became close and dear to me. My front is sisters, junior staff. They are my support, I am theirs. I don’t save them, of course, but I support them, help them resolve all issues, channel their energy in the right direction,” Elena summed up.
When people are sitting in a boat and rowing together, then you can get results. It is only necessary to direct efforts in one direction, then we will achieve the goal.
How do hospital staff cope, how else can each of us support the hospital “Okhmatdyt” and where to send financial assistance – read on vogue.ua.
We also wrote how to get free psychological help during the war – contacts and addresses.