Staff step up to support each other during the Covid-19 pandemic

NNUH staff from all specialities are stepping up to support their colleagues and help care for patients during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mikayla Warren, a Children’s Nurse on Buxton Ward, recently completed her first shift on Gissing Ward high dependency unit.

“I thoroughly enjoyed the experience helping on Gissing HDU and utilising my transferable skills to support the team in caring for sick adults,” she said. “I did it to demonstrate commitment to the wider NHS team and prove that no matter where you work, we can all work within our competence to support patients, their families and fellow staff during challenging times.

“The team was really welcoming, friendly and supportive. I worked within my sphere of knowledge and supported them with their nursing care and felt there were many things I could assist with. They were really appreciative and thankful when I left. I thoroughly encourage everyone to obtain the experience.”

Megan Childs, a nurse on the Children’s Assessment Unit (CAU), also supported colleagues on Gissing when they were short staffed, firstly moving from her normal shift and then booking bank shifts so she could continue to help.

“I’ve friends and colleagues in this Trust and others who’ve had their departments close to be redeployed to critical care and had family and friends who’ve contracted Covid so, I’m volunteering for them, to do my bit in the pandemic and support and help wherever possible,” she said.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learnt from this experience it’s how quick we are to support each other and how even doing a quick set of observations for a team member can help ease their day just that little bit!

“The team on Gissing couldn’t have been more supportive – they’ve had quite a few of us from CAU, Buxton, the Children’s Emergency Department and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit helping out, but they were really understanding and made sure we didn’t work outside our competencies and were supported when it came to cares that are a little outside our remit (such as turns – we’re used to slightly smaller patients!).

“I worked with a lovely nurse called Nicole who talked me through inputting obs and cares into Metavision. We were caring for two intubated patients, one whose sedation had been stopped ready for extubation. Nicole was grateful to have someone who could sit with the patient in case they were to wake up, although at no point I felt like I was left on my own. The Critical Care team were regularly checking in on all those who were helping, I couldn’t have asked for more support.

“I was really nervous when originally asked to move, but I felt supported throughout the entire shift, and know this will continue throughout any future moves or bank shifts. It was lovely to see everyone from a range of specialities come together to help each other, a positive we can take from this experience even if things are feeling a little chaotic and scary at the moment!

Lauren Jacques, Deputy Sister on the Critical Care Complex, shares her video diary on a night shift talking about her Covid-19 experiences.

In her video diary Lauren talks about the huge challenges the team face at the moment, the help the team are receiving from other areas of the hospital, the challenges of working in full PPE, and her receiving her first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine at NNUH.