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Staff Nurse Claire McShane, Ward 9 (COVID19 Ward), South West Acute Hospital – Reflection of COVID19

Claire McShane

Staff Nurse Claire Mc Shane  from Dromore Co Tyrone shares her experience of working in Covid-19 Ward at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen: 

While we were prepared for the 1st lockdown there was no comparison to what we are dealing with now. The patients are extremely sick, although some can present on admission quite well they deteriorate very quickly and require higher escalation of care and are dependent on high flow oxygen. We are informed by our Medical Team that this serious deterioration occurs usually on Day 7 – 10 infection period. As a nurse we witness patients suffering from extreme anxiety and loneliness as their family cannot visit in the usual way and the patient is on their own.

We try to the best of our ability to be with our patients to help relieve anxiety and would encourage a ‘face time’ call with family. This is a very emotional time for nurses, patients and relatives but we find it is so beneficial to us all. Everyone is working extra shifts to cover for our patient care and also to support our colleagues to relieve their pressures. We work within a Multi-Disciplinary Team  i.e. from Support Services through to Allied Health Professionals (AHPs)  and Medical  Consultants.

Every member of this team is a very valued individual and necessary to provide safe effective care. There are definitely days when it is very difficult emotionally and physically especially when we have a death on the ward. But everyone tries to work together and keep morale up. We support each other in every way we can. I want to reiterate what we all see in the media/press as we are dealing with severe pressure on a daily basis and is still ongoing.

So I ask the public to:

Stay at home

Wash hands regularly

Social distance

Wear a mask/face covering

Avail of the vaccine when you are called to receive this over the coming months.

Please follow the Public Health guidance and protect our NHS. Thank you.