Nursing on a COVID-19 ward
I'm the Acting Head of Nursing at Abingdon Hospital. That role has changed recently as I was asked to help support our COVID-19 response.
I was tasked with assisting a senior colleague on a different site to set up the first ward designated for patients who were pending a positive test for COVID-19. As the situation has progressed I’ve been involved in rolling out our COVID-19 response to other wards and supporting team members through this challenging time. We’ve had to rapidly establish processes and protocols for managing patients with COVID-19 in order to respond to the fast-changing situation.
Staff are aware of the difficulties in managing patients in full PPE and they understand the impact it has on patients who are scared and unwell. It’s a new experience for all of us and the first few shifts made us realise how isolating and tiring it can be to nurse someone in full PPE while trying to be as safe as possible. However, we were allocated some amazing team players from different areas of the hospital who, despite never having worked together, put in a tremendous effort to make the ward effective. Their sense of camaraderie and focus on doing the right thing for their patients and colleagues made the first few (very long) days a symbol of what is great about being a nurse and the NHS as a whole.