Helping out in turbulent times

Helping out where it’s most desperately needed: That’s what motivated Orfeo Maus when he saw the reports about crowded hospitals. He remembered the fulfilling work he did as a first responder and offered his help. Since then, he’s been providing support at a hospital emergency ward in the battle against coronavirus.

Back when coronavirus first hit, pictures from inside Italian hospitals went around the world, asdoctors and nursing staff were faced with a hurricane like never before. Since then, the pandemic has kept the whole world on tenterhooks. Orfeo Maus, Group Manager in the Corporate Customer Service in Munich, and a witness to all this, decided to get involved himself. “It bothered me a lot - I wanted to do my bit to improve the situation here on site. I had already gained experience as a first responder during my community service and with the Bavarian Red Cross. I felt now was the time to offer my help, even though it was 25 years later,” said the committed Commerzbanker. He then approached an organisation for home care services and two nearby hospitals to offer his support.

Test of patience with positive result

After a brief investigation into the matter it turned out that, due to the processes at the hospitals, he could only help out if he was actually employed by the hospital. So Orfeo officially applied, after discussing it with his manager - and patiently waited to hear back on his application. After being turned down by one hospital, his second application dwindled out. “At first I was a little disappointed to be thwarted in my ambitions,” said Orfeo. But in mid-November, things unexpectedly re-gained momentum - one of the hospitals asked whether he was still available to help. “I was glad the Bank was so flexible – which meant I was able to start my first shift just two weeks later,” Orfeo explained.

Assisting as crisis volunteer

Since then, Orfeo has been assisting in the care of emergency patients who show possible coronavirus symptoms such as fever, cough or nausea. This also includes patients who are under quarantine - or those who have instead been sent in for a completely different problem. For this to work out with his full-time job at the Bank, Orfeo is on mainly on duty on the weekends. In total, he works an average of four days per month. “My new colleagues fully integrated me into the emergency team right from the outset. It was funny when doctors actually mistook me for a fully trained nurse under all the protective gear. My colleagues were great in showing a lot of patience and trust in me when I 'outed' myself as a crisis volunteer,” Orfeo remembered.

No fear of contact

Despite his previous experience in providing an emergency service taking place years ago, it still proved helpful: “One of the nurses said to me: ‘Placing needles is like riding a bicycle, you never forget how to do it’," Orfeo said with a wink. That's why Orfeo is allowed to help with electrocardiograms (ECGs), measuring blood pressure, taking blood samples and placing infusions - and even doing the work himself sometimes. Not to forget, of course, taking temperatures and performing the Covid-19 swabs for the coronavirus tests. His tasks also include replenishing material or comforting patients. Thanks to the protective gear, he’s not afraid of coming into direct contactwith coronavirus patients.

Not only in turbulent times

Will Orfeo soon only be found in the hospital? He smiled and said: “I like the combination of both jobs. Here at the Bank, I usually know what to expect and can plan my work much better. It's completely different in the emergency room. You never know whether three or four patients will come in at once or whether any will come in for hours.Then again, my role as a manager is somehow also about providing care - namely for my great team.” But in regards to his temporary part-time job, he’d like to put in extra time in order to continue helping - not only in turbulent times but after also.

[*Note: This refers to the placement of a venous access, e.g. for an infusion.]

Secondary employment

The Bank must be notified of any secondary employment. The Bank confirms the commencement of the secondary employment if it does not compete with the interests of the Bank, the employee's work performance does not suffer, and the employee complies with the statutory maximum working hours.

Listen to the audio doc of February 4, 2021

Due to his secondary work in the hospital, Orfeo Maus was probably one of the first bank employees to be vaccinated against Covid-19. In an interview with Dr. Drees, he reports on his experience with vaccination (German only).

Orfeo Maus in his first-responder outfit: the extensive protective gear protects him from contracting any infectious diseases. Copyright: private
Coronavirus at your fingertips: creative result of a hospital colleague, which ensures a good laugh. Copyright: private
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