Sister Mairead Boyd – Ward 9 (COVID Ward), South West Acute Hospital – Reflection of COVID1928/01/2021
With the 1st Lock Down last March 2020 SWAH was under no circumstances as strained as we are this time. We are under severe pressure at this stage and in particular since Sunday the 10th January and week of 11th Jan.
The predictions were that the huge surge/peak of COVID 19 admissions would start to arrive the week of 18th Jan however it arrived a week earlier.
Myself and my colleagues on Ward 9 did feel initially last year that Fermanagh and Tyrone did get off lightly and hoped this would be the same scenario this year but SADLY that isn’t the case.
Unfortunately this horrendous Virus does not think like us. It takes no pity on where you live and sadly takes peoples lives on a daily basis regardless of our age.
I feel that none of us know when we could contact COVID or how our body would react. This is so much more than just our winter flu. Healthy people can also become extremely ill in a very short period of time.
The past 2 weeks have definitely been the worst so far of the Pandemic. As nurses we are under horrendous pressure daily on our 12 hour shifts.
Unfortunately due to the extreme shortage of nurses in the profession staff are working extra shifts every week. They are going above and beyond to care for their patients and cover the ward. I feel their dedication has to be commended. We are providing the best standard of care possible for extremely ill patients. The main symptoms of this virus is extreme shortness of breath and depending on high flow oxygen.
COVID 19 is domineering how we work in the nursing profession and going against our morals. Patients are unable to have family members to visit which can cause distress to them and of course their family. However it continues to be our privilege to provide the best care we can, we will not only be a nurse to our patients we will act as their family. We reassure family that especially at the end of life the nurse will be holding their loved ones hand and providing comfort at all times.
Yes we are under horrendous pressure, morale can be low and we are tearful at times but we continue to support each other as best we can and pick each other up when times are difficult. We are known as the Caring Profession so no matter what, caring is what we do not only for our patients but also our colleagues.
I would also like to say that without the support of our Physiotherapist’s, Occupational Therapists, Speech and Language Therapists, Dieticians, Respiratory and Palliative Care Nurses we would not manage. Their ongoing hard work has to be commended.
We as healthcare professionals leave our family and children at home, put our lives at risk to care for our patients.
So we ask you the Public:
Please Stay At Home When Possible
Wear A Face Mask
Continue to Social Distance
Wash Your Hands
Avail Of The Vaccine
And Take The Advise Of Our Health Minister
Together We Can Beat COVID 19