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Summer is here, and while the sun is shining bright and warm, we hope that all healthcare providers can finally take some well deserved time off to recharge and relax!
Considering the latest news on travel, we also think of all the healthcare workers that weathered the Covid-19 Pandemic storm hundreds or thousands of kilometers away from their families. We reflect on how lonely and isolated they must have felt, while also facing the risks, getting sick or fearing to contaminate their partners or children.
Our most recent guest is a dedicated Clinical Nurse Specialist in one of the National Teaching Hospitals. She gives us a clear insight into the personal trauma caused by exposure and by the restrictions imposed on healthcare workers in particular. We thank her for her commitment and for sharing her thoughts!
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It was hard being on the frontline but it is very rewarding. I’m very happy to be here! It was challenging and tough, but I’m glad to be able to do what I can to help people through this entire Covid-19 Pandemic.
The last year has meant huge pressure on the health system as Covid-19 numbers have risen, dropped and then risen again. Even before the pandemic reached, Irish hospitals were already working near full capacity.
The Pandemic has challenged short supplies of PPE, staff were getting infected and getting sicker, but haven’t continued to provide care for patients despite exhaustion, personal risk of infection and fear of transmission to family members.
I’m lucky to work in a hospital with non-Covid patients and I only experienced redeployment around my speciality in different departments. I worked my first weekend shifts on the A&E. Initially, I was anxious working in a new environment, hooked up to machines I was unfamiliar with. However, I quickly eased into the role as my team were extremely supportive. Wearing the mask during the shifts was exhausting.
I worry about taking the virus home or passing it to older or vulnerable relatives. This was a constant source of anxiety for me, continuing to work when the rest of the country has shut down. Working directly with the risks that everyone else is being told to avoid.
They were concerned about the situation around coronavirus and how it might affect our lives.
I was anxious about the possibility of infecting my family members; I have also faced different sources of stress that had a huge impact on my mental health and well-being. The long shifts, I experienced a lot of pressure combined with unprecedented population restriction and personal isolation.