Physical Education Teacher Helps Patients with COVID-19 Recover more Promptly

During more than three decades of work in the institution his presence has been seen in health areas, hospitals, the Center for Social Development (CEDESO) and in the Labor Welfare Directorate of the CCSS where, currently, he offers his services as a professor of physical education.

It is in this direction where he shares experiences, experiences, and well-being opportunities for people who are positive for COVID-19 and who are hospitalized in the San Juan de Dios hospital.

With this group of people, José Ángel Ramírez and the nurse Erika Badilla Sánchez devised to offer patients with COVID-19, who are in the rooms, but not in intensive care, opportunities for them to carry out short sessions of physical activity at a mild intensity.

“The sessions include stretching and joint mobility exercises; some routines include movements for the arms and legs. Also, they are taught that large equipment is not required to exercise; a chair, a sofa or the bed itself can become excellent allies to cope with the illness caused by SARS-CoV-2”, explained Ramírez. These physical work sessions carried out by patients under the supervision of José Ángel are developed via Zoom once a week at the request of the medical and nursing staff.

“In the context in which we find ourselves, these sessions represent a great experience, an honor, and an to contribute with my training something positive to people who are struggling to recover and overcome the disease. I cry, I enjoy and I learn with the patients” said José Ángel.

The professor says that this opportunity leaves him many satisfactions and he is pleased to see people infected by COVID-19 fight and seek at all costs the recovery both physically and emotionally.

“Sometimes I get a lump in my throat to see how the personnel who are in the first line of battle against COVID-19, and who are with the PPEs, show solidarity with the patients and they also do the exercises with them. Even though the exercises are of mild intensity, the temperature increases with these suits, and even so they do it, just to support the patients”, highlighted the professor of physical education.

This initiative led by Professor José Ángel and Nurse Erika Badilla always ends in thanks and praise. “The patients who carry out these physical activities have sent me audios expressing their gratitude and support in these difficult times for them. In the same way, I deeply appreciate the titanic work of the health personnel that makes it possible for these initiatives to fulfill their purpose, which is to support the patients and officials of the institution”, emphasized the worker from the CCSS Labor Welfare Directorate.

Great appreciation

Dr. Ileana Balmaceda, general director of the San Juan de Dios hospital and Dr. Viriam Mejía, director of nursing, are very pleased by the initiatives of the CCSS staff. “I deeply appreciate the work done by Professor Ramírez and fellow nurses who are involved in this beautiful project that will undoubtedly leave great benefit to patients. This shows that we not only care about the patient’s illness but also about their mental health,” explained Balmaceda.

“How nice it is to know that we have so much will and initiative in the Fund. I am very happy to see that our patients find opportunities to gain physical and mental health because each movement that a patient makes will have an impact on their recovery,” said Dr. Mejía.

Doctors, nurses, nutritionists, psychologists, social workers, and the entire Costa Rican Social Security Fund make a call for people to take active breaks in their work, at home, and in health centers such as hospitals, nursing homes, or shelters. There is no mental wellness without physical health.

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