Veteran Nurse Devotes Herself to Treating HIV/AIDS Patients

September 5, 2018
Editor: Chen Lu
Veteran Nurse Devotes Herself to Treating HIV/AIDS Patients
Du Liqun, head nurse at the Infectious Disease Department of the No.4 People's Hospital of Nanning City in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region


Du Liqun, head nurse at the Infectious Disease Department of the No.4 People's Hospital of Nanning City in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, recently won the title of March 8th Red-Banner Pacesetter.

As one of the five Chinese nurses awarded the Florence Nightingale Medal in 2015 by the International Committee of the Red Cross, Du has insisted on working in the front line of the fight against infectious diseases for over 20 years, and provided meticulous care for thousands of HIV/AIDS patients.

Her hospital set up a new department especially for the treatment of AIDS in 2005. It is the first time an AIDS department had been set up in Guangxi. When the hospital called on volunteers to work in the new department, Du, who had been working long term in the Tuberculosis Department, put herself forward.

The same year, when the department received an HIV/AIDS case complicated by a severe skin disease, Du donned a protective suit without hesitation and cleaned up the patient’s skin patch by patch, even after his family had abandoned him.

She kept nursing the patient in this way for a dozen days until his health improved.

"I believe that every life should be treated with dignity, and HIV/AIDS patients are included, of course. We should not give up easily," she said.

Nowadays, attracted by her professional skill and dedication, more and more young nurses work with Du, and her team has expanded from an initial eight people to over 60.

Wishing to draw more attention to the prevention of HIV/AIDS, for years she went to schools, communities and construction sites to demonstrate and explain face-to-face how people could protect themselves from HIV.

With an increasing number of the patients in the department each year, Du and her medical care group faced great risk in their work.

"About 10 nurses have to provide nursing services to over 1,000 patients every year. Besides the heavy work load, we are also afraid of being infected with the AIDS virus. Especially, I am worried about the first batch of nurses who have worked for only a few years and don't have a great depth of AIDS nursing care experience."

To reduce the nursing group's risk of exposure to the virus brought about by their work and to ease the patients' pain of being injected repeatedly for blood samples, Du led the nurses to strengthen professional training.

The increase in their professional level brought a strong sense of security to the department.

By chance, Du found that using a flexible catheter in veins can effectively reduce the exposure risk of nurses. She extended the therapy method to HIV/AIDS patients in time, reduced those patients' pains and saved money.

In Du's nursing group, there is one special member, Xiaoma, an HIV carrier, who takes part as a result of a special arrangement between Du and hospital's administration.

Xiaoma was once a patient of Du and now provides psychological assistance to new HIV patients who often go through shock and have feelings of desolation and desperation. He also provides help and guidance on taking anti-viral medicines to HIV carriers when the patients are receiving treatment.

Du's hospital has established a voluntary service team in her name. Du and her team members are committed to popularizing knowledge about AIDS and the HIV virus in rural areas, communities and schools. With their great efforts, people's ideas on AIDS and HIV are changing and society shows greater care for those infected by the disease.

Since she returned to her position from the 19th CPC National Congress, Du has been worked on publicizing the spirit of the congress. She will always follow the example of Florence Nightingale and continue to fight against HIV/AIDS in the future, Du said.

(Women of China)