Her name is Yuenleni. She is 42 years old. She has worked as an academic staff (tendik) laboratory assistant at the Biochemistry Department, UGM Faculty of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing (FKKMK) for 17 years. Her job is responsible for preparing practicum for medical students. Nevertheless, since May 2020, Leni has been invited to participate in the swab samples' PCR test from patients suspected of having Covid-19. She was initially afraid and worried. She even asked permission from her husband about her new responsibility. "At first, I was worried. I asked for my husband's permission. Then I am so grateful for getting permission and full support from him," said Yuenleni in a conversation with reporters on Monday (16/11).
Leni assumed what she did is only a small thing for helping the government deal with the Covid-19 transmission. She also admitted that she is pleased to be engaged in this activity, although it was not too significant compared to medical workers striving at the forefront. "Hopefully, my small action can help others. At least I can get a quick result for the patient so that the doctor in charge can also determine the diagnosis more quickly," said the woman who was born in Bojonegoro 42 years ago.
Experimenting with swab samples in the Microbiology laboratory of FK-KMK UGM is relevant to their functional duties as laboratory administrators. Leni said that every day, the FK-KMK Microbiology Laboratory got hundreds of swab samples from UGM Hospital and samples from UGM academicians who conducted examinations at the Gama Medical Center (GMC) clinic. "We have around 100 every day, but we also receive samples from health centers and facilities in DIY," he said.
Leni also revealed that in order to prevent transmission, every sample that comes in is placed in a VTM tube or Virus Transport Medium. The sample wrapped in a small tube in large quantities will be put back into the cool box. The swab samples submission must also go through a special door. "We enter the lab through a special sample door," he said.
Then, she puts each sample, which is disassembled, into a special cabinet. The laboratory assistants who will examine the PCR test of this sample must use a complete PPE in the form of hazmat, face shield, layered mask, and layered glove.
Lani said that she is currently doing its task. It is indeed a risk of infecting Covid-19 if she does not carry it out carefully. Accordingly, it is a must for her to comply with the standard lab procedure protocols. "Indeed, there is fear and worry. But, we always comply with the protocol by using complete PPE, after work immediately showered, shampooed, and changed into clean clothes," she recalls.
Even though her responsibility is a high risk for her health, the Microbiology laboratory's working atmosphere is not hollow or tense. "My time and I always unite. It just makes me happy, so that it can maintain our good immunity," she added.
There are hundreds of swab samples every day, but sometimes there are also more samples come in a day. Somehow, Leni also has to work overtime and come home late after dark. "It depends on the number of samples. If there are a lot of samples, we go home after working hours. Once, I went home at 8 pm," she said.
Before joining the Covid sample swab test, Leni became a laboratory assistant who had a job preparing practicum equipment for students studying for a medical doctor. She also helped sample tests for students working on final assignments in the form of undergraduate theses, theses, and dissertations. Somehow, she also helped lecturers with research activities.
Since 2003, Leni has been working as a laboratory assistant for more than 17 years. Her dedication as a laboratory assistant and assisting in handling Covid-19 has brought her to be UGM outstanding laboratory assistant in 2020. She got the award from the UGM Chancellor at the UGM Achievement Award Night on Wednesday (4/11) online.
Author: Gusti Grehenson
Translator: Natasa A