The Pandemic Superheroes – Nurses in the frontline
Whether it’s the world war or a pandemic, natural disaster, or a virus outbreak; while some of us run for shelter, the others run to the frontlines. No, they aren’t the ones carrying guns or wearing the bulletproof jackets, they’re the ones with ointments and antidotes, they are the real superheroes – our nurses!
We’d like to take this moment to acknowledge the hard work of every nurse all around the globe, the sacrifices they are making and the risks they are taking to keep us safe.
And now we present to you today’s superhero. Our Superhero is an ITU nurse in the UK, and this is her pandemic experience:
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“Let’s do it Mode“
Anyway now I think nurses have passed disbelief and then panic, anger, frustration, fight and flight mode and now on acceptance mode and ‘let’s do it mode’ in the UK.
Adapting and adjusting
When the cases started to come to our unit there was difficulty in staffing as not all staff could look after them. They had to be mask fit tested and we simply did not have enough staff. And as I was mask tested I knew when I am on I will be looking after them and soon it became from our usual one nurse looking after one patient to two patient ratio. Staff sickness had gone up, the ones who were working were tired and overworked. On top of not having appropriate PPE like – working with a plastic gown with sweat-drenched scrub underneath was making life harder.
One shift I remember three of us, nurses, looking after six very sick patients, and there were no other nurses to cover for our break, meaning when one was in a break two were left with six patients. We were very short-staffed in case of an emergency. It was a traumatic shift.
The unit we have worked for ages felt like a different world. We started seeing equipment we had not used and was meant to learn as we go, new software commenced in the same way so doctors could review and prescribe some medications without donning PPE for small things.
We started getting new nurses from wards (I work in ITU) who were meant to do what they could. We had physios, dental nurses, speech therapists sent to help as buddy. They are really helpful but some ITU nurses find it not helpful as they have to go over things again and again.
I have to add, because we are in ITU we are prioritized with PPR and equipment, etc. , so my guess is the ward staff must have suffered more.
Many of us are staying away from home too as we don’t want to take infection home (although there is a test for us and they are doing one-off test tomorrow).
But also we get claps every Thursday at 8pm. Many charities are sending us lunch and dinner every single shift. We have got flowers, dedicated shopping time in supermarkets and rainbows drawn by kids in their windows to support us. My own hotel lady has given room free of cost and even left a card flower saying thanks last week. A plumber fixed our bathroom without charging a penny and instead left saying thanks.”
[To all the superheroes fighting with needles and tubes, we’d like to hear your story too. Reach out to us at [email protected]]