Back on the Covid Ward, February 2021 - Day Four
GUEST BLOG: Charlie is a nurse on a ward reopened to respond to the overload of the pandemic. She has been moved to a more critical ward with patients needing ventilation. These are her shift notes.
A week or so down the line, I have now been moved to a more acute ward with non-invasive ventilation like CPAP and bi pap. Bloody hell!
The good thing is though that it is actually a proper ward with permanent staff who are all trained in the various types of the assisted breathing apparatus. It's really heavy going but well organised. It is actually the same ward I was on last year when I was redeployed so at least I do know the staff which is great.
They have had a real rubbish time of it since December - well, actually, since the first wave. Patients dying left right and centre, the workload never ceasing and no end in sight. Quite a few of the staff have also had Covid themselves.
Much worse than the first wave
I think probably the powers that be didn’t start redeploying staff early enough (ie at the beginning of December when things started going “tits up”).
There is a fab team spirit here which must really help with the ability of all workers to just keep going. But it's much worse than the first wave. Three long days in a row today and I sure am feeling it now. Being wrapped up all day is really tough, and exceptionally hot! Dehydrated too - I must've had about 3 litres already today.
I bought some fancy shoes that are supposed to be great for people on their feet all day - £40. Feet still hurt. Did over 16,000 steps Wednesday and 14,000 yesterday.
So many sad stories
There are so many sad stories about. One man on the ward lost his wife to Covid two weeks ago and he is also really unwell. Another lady - only in her early 60s - has not been able to attend the funerals of a son and a daughter, both of whom died of Covid. She is just too ill. I can't even begin to imagine how she is even managing to carry on.
Patients all over the hospital are so scared. A woman on the ward celebrated her 54th birthday two days ago. At the time, she required oxygen for breathing. Today she is struggling and has been stepped up to CPAP. It wouldn't surprise me if, next time I'm in, I hear she's gone to intensive care.
It's all very depressing but I feel proud to be an active part of it all. Sorry, this all sounds dull and gloomy. Life at home is good, the sun is shining today and there are now fewer people coming through A&E with Covid.
You can also read about Charlie's experience during the first wave in Spring 2020. All names have been changed.
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