Covid In The Eyes Of An A&E Nurse

When Covid first started in the early stages, it sounds strange to say this but we were excited we were dealing with a pandemic some nurses and doctors have never had to deal with a pandemic in their career, it was all new, very interesting the read up and just exactly what covid is and how it attacks your body. But as it was spreading in Italy you saw the devastation it was causing, and you could sense that it was going to hit the UK and we would not be ready for it. And in my opinion still not ready for it. The impact it had on people and the NHS was devastating as time went on.

This was nothing on the NHS we worked hard with the resources we have it down to the people who run the government, underpaid under staffed and over worked that’s a recipe for disaster. But hey we received a clap on a Thursday that’s all that matters right? (I know I come across ungrateful, but I’m not I did appreciate it but then you would go on social media and the same friends that showed support for key workers would be the ones breaking the rules, it’s tough)

I can’t understand why people thought it was okay to break the rules and carry on whilst the rest of us were fighting a battle.

Moving On:

As you saw in the news there was a lack of PPE a lack of supplies, we would literally be reusing our visors, and plastic gowns which were only one time use and having to reuse the masks which were meant to change every 4 hours as we had no spare stock   at my trust eventually got better in regards to PPE but the situation was still bad for other nurses/Dr friends working elsewhere.

Because Covid at the time seemed it was affecting the elderly and people with pre existing conditions meant those groups had to self isolate, meaning my mom and my nan who I lived with had to self isolate which meant that I would have to find alternative accommodation.

I was put up in a hotel paid by the hospital that I worked at. It was tough period at work you were dealing with sick patients and seeing more deaths in 2 months than I had in my 2yrs of nursing then going back to a room no one to talk to, and no one you can off load as no one apart from your work family could really understand what you were going through and what you were seeing.  At one stage our doctors were playing god, this person isn’t worth CPR, they won’t make it or this one is too old for a ventilator those things never went in the news it was just that we were low on beds/ ventilators.

I was in the hotel for 4 months it was a tough period I would say in terms of physically and mentally, everyday was a struggle but the reality was I was protecting my family and that’s all that matters. I wanted to do the best by them.

I think come July there was a sense of normality back at work we weren’t seeing a high rate of covid paitents and we did start seeing our usual time wasters in A+E although there problem was not an emergency it was just nice to have that sense of normality back. I think we got excited to quick, I personally didn’t agree with anything the government did. In terms of the after effect. We as Country should have gone back to normality when there was 0 deaths, 0 cases for at least a month or 2,yes it would take a huge hit on the economy but we wouldn’t be facing what we are dealing with now, round 2. Nov/Dec that’s when things started to pick up. Winter is always hard in hospital coupled with covid now that’s a nightmare.

I’d have to say the last few weeks of December and January have been the worst by far, they always said the 2nd wave would be worse and we all said we couldn’t bear to think about doing this a second time but the reality is we are with a lot less staff, a lot less capacity to work with. I have to be honest the last few weeks have been the worst at work, going home after a 12.5hr shift physically and mentally exhausted to have that fight to want to do it all again, it’s been challenging. You could literally leave a patient in A+E and return to work the next day and they are still there because there’s no physical beds in the hospital. That really hit home when they ventilated a patient in A+E and they were still in A+E 16hrs later as there were no ITU beds that never happens usually once there vented they are basically up to ITU within the hour. That day we were so understaffed that they had to call a doctor in from ITU just to look after that one patient as there were no nurse’s available.

Or even last week  a 90 year old who had been in A+E for 13+hours and those beds are designed for a few hours not to be comfortable they are practical that’s about it ,the sick are waiting hours for a bed because every hospital has nothing.

This second wave id say has hit me harder in terms of mentally. Some days I don’t want to go to work. My rest days I just want to stay in bed, I’m not an emotional person but I’ve cried loads. Even at one staged I actually wished I had covid just to have 14days off, I mean how sick is that, I’m actually wishing bad things so that I don’t have to face work? Disgusting really I know but this is my truth.  Everyday is a battle no beds and no staff this time round just makes it that much harder. Staff morale is at its all time lowest, we are seeing younger people die this time round, and still people ignore the rules.

I am over lockdown, I’m bored and I want it to be over just like everyone else, but it just makes me sick that Sally on Instagram is asking who is doing nails on the down-low and loads of people raving. Yeah it might not be affecting you but what about the crap your passing to your family.  It’s like people saying that covid is a myth and people taking pictures of corridors empty and i Just think you’re a Disgusting human being.

If you actually went on to a ward or went into A+E you’d be lost for words. In terms of ITU beds they are filling up with younger people you might not care about the rules and covid but what if your mom, family, or relative had to have life saving surgery they would need an itu bed and they can’t have it. Covid affects everything right now and people are not looking at the bigger picture.

Personally I would say that this has had a big impact on my mental health I’m usually the fun one in my group, always up for a laugh and sometimes I look in the mirror and I don’t even know the person staring back at me, the last 9months have slowly eaten away at my personality, I’m sad, angry and low most of the time, I feel like I put on a front that I’m fine to friends and family but realistically I’m far from fine but how do you get yourself out of a rut?

Usually if I’m down id go gym book a holiday I do a lot of things that lockdown doesn’t allow. So right now ive explored alot of parks walks and scenery that I would not have previously. I think one day it would be over we just need to stick to together,respect the rules and maybe a change of government.

Please think about the NHS before breaking the rules and think of your family.

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