Anika Sand, Application Specialist for Fujifilm Germany’s Medical Systems division, servicing hospitals in Germany, shares her experience and feelings during the Coronavirus pandemic. Due to the rapid developments of the Corona situation, we would like to point out that we conducted the interview in 2020.
– We are at your service. During the current Coronavirus pandemic our technicians and application specialists are working on the front line alongside healthcare professionals to make sure patients can be diagnosed and treated. These are their stories. –
Fujifilm: When the Coronavirus pandemic reached Germany, what were your first thoughts?
Anika Sand: At the beginning, when Corona reached Germany, I was probably concerned about whether and how the pandemic would affect my work – not only for Fujifilm but especially for doctors, nurses and patients. The facilities, like hospitals or doctor’s practices, had to prepare for the situation within a short time. Life outside of hospitals also became more difficult for everyone.
Fujifilm: We would like to get to know you better. You are Application Specialist for Radiography for Fujifilm in Germany. Can you describe your role?
Anika Sand: My job is to look after our customers immediately after installation of our Medical Systems on site. I do the briefings with the operating staff, set up the software according to the customer’s wishes and needs. Also, I change the image processing in cooperation with the doctors, if this is desired. At Fujifilm, we work as one team, so I accompany demos to support my sales colleagues, too.
Fujifilm: What motivates you to go to work every day?
Anika Sand: I have been working for Fujifilm for almost 7 years now. Previously, I had worked as an MTA in a radiology practice and was looking for a new challenge. At Fujifilm, I never have the feeling of “stopping” due to our extensive product portfolio and the constant new developments. I look after our digital X-ray systems, mobile and portable radiography solutions, the field of mammography and our CT. Naturally, during COVID-19 we have experienced a shift in demand, especially of our mobile X-ray devices. So, the customers I look after are mixed. This can range from a radiological, gynecological or surgical practice to a university clinic. It can be very enriching to work with customers and being able to show the latest technology to them.
Fujifilm: How do you support the hospitals, doctors and nurses in the current situation?
Anika Sand: During this time, our workload has increased because appointments on site must be carefully planned and prepared. Overnight stays in hotels have also become more difficult, since the rules for protection must also be observed there. My actual job I do the same way as before. Only the “how” has changed – and it has changed a lot. The support is not much different either. Certainly you need to do certain things by phone or online, but working directly with customers usually would be the most efficient way of working – interaction is easier and more direct, you can explain and show face-to-face. I still can, and need to, go to the clinics for my work. I am responsible for radiology operation working smoothly on our devices, regardless of whether it is about the operation or the setting of the images.
“I have hoped from the start that we as society overcome this crisis and everyone can quickly get back to “normal” while learning from this experience.”
Fujifilm: What has changed on site – in hospitals and doctor’s practices – for you?
Anika Sand: I always have a facemask or face covering with me. I also bring disinfectant with me, but it is available at the customer’s sites in all departments. Even before COVID-19, the entrances to the clinics were equipped with disinfectant dispensers. It is good to experience well-managed crisis management in hospitals with all German clinics that I have worked with being well prepared. However, the uncertainty about what the future holds is there. In the meantime, however, the clinics are back in relatively normal operation, which until recently had been severely shut down. I feel safe working at home and at hospital appointments. And for sure, working with a facemask is necessary and can be lifesaving, but is a bit difficult because the air underneath gets quite thin after a lot of talking. A “regular” workday therefore can get quite exhausting.
Fujifilm: What has changed at home and at work?
Anika Sand: Not that much has changed for me. I would normally work at home. So, this is nothing new for my partner and me. At work the situation is very different though. Personal meetings and training cannot take place. Nevertheless, the team has worked out how to exchange information in the home office via regular web meetings to keep everything going as best as possible.
Fujifilm: What have you learned during your recent work in the Coronavirus pandemic?
Anika Sand: My job includes a lot of travelling; I often need to be on site with the doctors and nurses to support them as best as possible. Therefore, possibilities of travelling and overnight stays are heavily necessary to do my job. At the beginning the problem was that many hotels and all restaurants had to close and it was difficult to find something to stay overnight let alone find something to eat after a whole day of work. It was good to experience that problems can be seen as challenges and big and small ones can often be solved according to rules and thinking creatively at the same time. For example, a colleague and I simply had a socially distanced picnic at our hotel one evening. I have hoped from the start that we as society overcome this crisis and everyone can quickly get back to “normal” while learning from this experience.
To download the interview in our Whitepaper format (pdf) please have a look at our AT YOUR SERVICE homepage here.