Iftar on the job: Patients' safety always comes first before Iftar

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Iftar on the job: Patients safety always comes first before Iftar

Other than delaying the fast to tend to patients, Dr Jasem also misses time with his family.


Asma Ali Zain

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Published: Thu 16 May 2019, 11:31 PM

Last updated: Fri 17 May 2019, 1:35 AM

For Dr Jasem Obaid Al Shamsi, an emergency surgeon at the Rashid Hospital, the safety of patients comes before opening the fast.
"We work in three shifts in different departments in the emergency ward, and if we are assigned to the resuscitation room, then we cannot leave the patients alone at all," said the Emirati.
This often means that Dr Jasem has to open his fast late. "Sometimes, the fast has to be broken 10 to 15 minutes later until another colleague comes in and takes over," he said. The shift schedule starts from 6am to 2pm, 2pm to 10pm and 10pm to 6am.
"In any of the shifts, we will either be doing Suhoor or Iftar, except for the morning shift but then we are fasting at that time," he added.
He also said there are a number of nationalities working at the hospital, which makes it easier to manage work.
"Many of my colleagues are of other nationalities and religions, and they understand the importance of Ramadan," said Dr Jasem.
"Whenever required, they take over the rotational duties so that we can break our fast," he said.
"But in most days, we are so busy with work that we don't realise that we are fasting."
Other than delaying the fast to tend to patients, Dr Jasem also misses time with his family. "But that is how a doctor's job is," he said.
Dr Jasem said prayers, too, are missed. "In Ramadan, we have special prayers and, due to the busy work schedule, there are many times when I have to miss them, too."
"I am fine with working in any of the shifts but, often, I have to skip the prayers due to work and this is what I miss most in this holy month," he added.

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