- Healthcare workers – how you feeling – what are you anticipating?
Mrs Danny is back to work on Monday. As a nurse on a specialist thoracic ward she’s going to be in the thick of it.
Can’t say either of us are particularly looking forward to it. Shit kind of gets real…Posted 2 months ago
Lab tech in a microbiology lab.
Feeling a bit guilty this week as well, our workload has dropped 50%, I’m still expected in work to take the opportunity to catch up with paperwork. I suggested this was non essential in the current climate and we should follow the advice and stay home; operate the lab on a skeleton staff, but was essentially accused of being lazy, told I could go and work on a ward or go home without pay.
It’s strange for us really, our work is essential, as case numbers rise, we will be busy again and I can also be quickly trained cross department in the path lab to help out, plus we’ll still no doubt end up short of staff soon, we’ve already got a couple self isolating. But right now, we’re quiet.
I’m no more capable of helping out on a ward as any Joe off the street, but likewise if I go off sick, there’s only a handful of people can fulfill my role.
I am wondering what long term impact the current lack of samples being sent in will have, infections must be being treated without confirming the correct antibiotics have been prescribed, routine screening has stopped and we only had two fungal toe nails this week instead of the usual 40!!Posted 2 months ago
Rustyspanner – glad your enjoying it. Forensics isn’t for everyone; I did a 3mth stint within a forensics team … Not for me though; because of the nature of the area there not a lot to do .. most boring area I have worked in.Posted 2 months ago
infections must be being treated without confirming the correct antibiotics have been prescribed, routine screening has stopped and we only had two fungal toe nails this week instead of the usual 40!!
Our ED is almost empty, people just not coming in the front door. Since the lockdown general sickness in the population should have dropped, but what’s happened to the generally older sicker patients that would be coming through the door? Are they all just dying at home?
It’s very very oddPosted 2 months ago
At the hospital my wife works, they had 3 wards for covid patients – they increased that to 5 today. The youngest person of the 31 patients she has to nurse is 61yrs old .. most very much older; so it looks like the old ones getting hit hard as expected.Posted 2 months ago
Mrs Nobeer is a nurse in macular degeneration clinic, basically elderly or folks with certain conditions who get injections into their eyes to keep their sight going.
They’ve been told they’ll be keeping going, as a couple of months of missing present will render lots of folks blind, but bound to be absorbed into the battle when shit hits the fan.
All I can do is look after her, and keep her strong, loved and happy.
Feel rather helpless tbh, I wish I could do more.
God bless all you guys, I hope people remember the part all of you play, and we don’t go back to our old ways.
💙Posted 2 months ago
most boring area I have worked in.
I get that. 🙂
I’ve worked on high dependency wards where I felt more like a prison officer than a TNA, but am now on a step down ward.
I love it.
We get time to prepare people for release who have been very unwell and are now ready to get on with their lives in the community. We get to work with a huge range of professionals and engage with all aspects of rehabilitation. I love it.
Before this I was a Neuro Rehab Coach in the private sector.
We had our clients for a maximum of two years, providing them with intense rehabilitation designed to help them to live as independently as possible after severe acquired brain injuries.
I like having that time to spend with people, to see the process and the progress.
I’m completely in awe of those who work in emergency units – my last placement was at an Urgent Care Centre and the staff there and in similar emergency areas are a cut above. Some are on my course, having been HCA’s for years – they have a different mentality.
They find what I do equally incomprehensible. 🙂
BTW, thanks to everyone. One of the reasons I joined the NHS was because of the positivity of some of the posters on here.
It’s changed my life.
Love to all.Posted 2 months ago
God bless all you guys, I hope people remember the part all of you play, and we don’t go back to our old ways.
+1000Posted 2 months ago
Well we had an email today informing us that most of us social workers and OTs would be redeployed to either local hospitals to arrange hospital discharges or to care agencies to do personal care etc.
We were informed that our hours would change from usual 8:30am – 5pm to now cover 7am – 11am seven days a week including bank holidays.
Already those with children are stating they cant/wont do it – already those caring for older parents are saying the same – already those with health conditions are off anyways … will be interesting tomorrow to see who actually agrees to it.Posted 2 months ago
Good luck mooman.Posted 2 months ago
Feeling a bit sniffy and blocked up this morning. Yesterday (Monday) was my Friday (shift workers will understand)
Drank a bottle of Malbec. Unwound. We’d spent the day reorganising the office and splitting teams up as we all work close. That way if one person goes off we don’t lose a whole team. Also been setting up MS Team so we can all communicate. Unfortunately I’m testing this on my personal phone and have my Outlook set up too. Days off and still checking my mail.Posted 2 months ago
This is **** ridiculous:
If you work for the NHS and if you self isolate due to symptoms of Covid or due to household member having symptoms CHECK as in PROPERLY CHECK whether the time you isolate will be counted in the “disciplinary”/”fitness to work”/Whatever-its called process.
That is, if you get symptoms or a household member gets symptoms, then to avoid triggering the process that ultimately ends with you getting fired, you’ll need to go into work.
So don’t believe what you hear in the daily briefing, don’t ask your mate, or the ward manager, or the WhaysApp group, or the department head. Ask the trust HR director. By email.
Because this is an actual **** thing staff are getting mixed messages about.
The NHS management is this **** mangled.Posted 2 months ago
As it’s “winter” here they have just released this seasons flu jabs. Got an email from my GP yesterday and booked myself in. Had it done about an hour ago rather than waiting for my health depts to get them in and mass-jab the hospital and clinic.
Hope everyone is hanging in there.Posted 2 months ago
Front line for me tomorrow.. Am spending the weekend working shifts on a Covid assessment and admission unit in a large general hospital. To be fair, I’m pretty nervous, this is wholly new territory for me. It’s going to be a steep learning curve, I suspect.Posted 2 months ago
good luck highland manPosted 2 months ago
I’m working at the tip of the pointy end, in ITU. We arrive for work, change into scrubs then queue at the door to put on our PPE. This involves wearing a theatre gown, two plastic aprons, one hitched up to cover your upper body, and another to cover your waist and lower legs. Then a pair of blue nitrile gloves, then a pair of longer, different coloured gloves that reach your mid fore arms; this counts as your ‘skin’, so any close contact requires another apron and another third pair of gloves. People have been fit tested for a variety of FP3 masks, depends a lot on your facial shape and head size. Now masked and gowned, i need to use a visor to allow the use of glasses, others can use standard goggles or safety glasses.
Because we all look alike, we get our name and ITU or Non ITU written across our back in felt tip, as well as getting taped up to avoid exposing shoulders or necks too much. I go for the football jersey style with my name right across my shoulders.
It is easy to tell the ITU nurses; we swear better than everyone else.
We also get a time written on our back; that’s when you entered, you get 3-4 hours inside until you have to step out, removing each item of PPE in a structured way, reducing your chance of inadvertent exposure, finishing off by wiping shoes/crocs down with a bleach solution, stepping out and then removing your FP3 mask, with handwashing during each stage of the removal process.
You sweat. Constantly. Your hands under 2 or 3 layers of glove are wrinkly like too long in the bath. Your feet rub in your wet socks. Your scrubs are wet from about 1 hour onwards. Your mask is comfortable for about 20 minutes, then it starts to hurt across the bridge of your nose, as if it has been sunburned then rubbed with a pan scourer. Your cheeks feel the same, and I’ve got lines under my eyes 18 hours later.
12 hours worth of this is tiring and not really any fun, plus the ward is being ‘seeded’ with non ITU nurses in an attempt to spread and improve skills across the board. This occasionally involves waiting for people to calm down, to wipe tears away, then carrying on. ITU is very, very different to working elsewhere, and no one is expecting people to cope straightaway. The actual ITU work is pretty much the same, although with more use of the prone position to alter the interaction between the patients lungs and the ventilator.
We have developed a number of outlying ITUs, using one for proven negative patients where PPE is not needed.
We are managing well at present, but any significant surge will be a further challenge. Morale is good, our management have done a good job, with lots of back checking with our clinical staff before any decisions are formalised. We are working at pretty much full gas, hopefully to manage what we have to.
The lack of any visiting makes telephone contact with relatives an extremely important part of our role, and we’re doing the best we can to not only inform but also support, reassure and just be kind to those stuck at home. We might end up using some form of visual reporting to allow people to see what’s going on, but we may not have the time or the opportunity, Information Governance regulations aside…
Questions?Posted 2 months ago
Yep tomorrow will be my first proper shift in it. Working in a non-respiratory but acute specialty. Half of our wards are full of Covid and I will be down in A&E for much of the day so I will be in the thick of it. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it.Posted 2 months ago
My wife is currently on hold at 111. Woke up with a headache, sniffles, cough and a slightly high temperature. Already notified her boss that she is self-isolating. I doubt she’ll be tested as she is only an NHS employee, not a politician, celebrity or royalty.Posted 2 months ago
@TJ, 30 year old ITU experience is better than none; we could do with a hand.Posted 2 months ago
Fantastic post crikey – you and your colleagues are doing incredible work in incredibly hard circumstancesPosted 2 months ago
I’ll say it again, you lot are a cut above.Posted 2 months ago
I don’t really like false modesty, I appreciate all the thanks and gratitude.
In some ways I’m at a great advantage in that I suppose I’ve been training for this for the last 30 years, so I’ve got the skills and can try to support other people. There is a certain under-siege mentality that creeps out, rude words on stickers applied to peoples backs, love and hate as ‘tattoos’ on the knuckles of gloves, lots of swearing and so on.Posted 2 months ago
Indeed Crikey – the public image of nurses as “angels” would take some battering if the public knew what went on behind closed doors!
As for me – out of isolation this week. Being moved to another hospital with a possible opening up of palliative care wards there next week which will be my first time working since this really struck.
Because I have not been at work I don’t know what else is happening. I guess if it comes to it and they ask what skills I have I will have to confess to my out of date ITU skills. I am hoping I can remain where my core skills are – and palliative care is something I do and do well. I’ll go where I am needed but I ruddy well hope its not at the pointy end!Posted 2 months ago
That sounds horrible Crikey.
I start my redeployment on Monday. Been assigned to a social work team arranging hospital discharges to free up beds.Posted 2 months ago
8-8 hrs and at moment just the 3 shifts a week so can’t complain.
All but one of the 20+ cases allocated to me are covid positive .. all are very old, so this presents issues not just the typical issue of finding POC availability, but getting their families to support them too. You may be surprised how a lot of families think there is an endless supply of carers available.
I think it should be emphasised again and again that pretty much the whole NHS has dropped everything they can to support ..er me/us.. but we are only a small part of the entire picture; rehab, discharge, transport, ongoing care, palliative care are all equally important and will be operating at full stretch to keep the process from clogging up, plus the emergency and cancer stuff which will hopefully be maintained as well as possible.
The unofficial motto for us is ‘We got this…’ that we is everyone involved.
I’m off to moisturise my face again…. 🙂Posted 2 months ago
Mrs Davesport working in High Dependency. PPE sounds identical to Crikeys. I’m humbled by the coping response of frontline staff in this setting. If one thing comes out of this after the storm it is that there’s a rethink on funding for the NHS. They need more than a bit of clapping on a Thursday night.
Crikey, thank you to yourself and your colleagues for all your hard work.Posted 2 months ago
It is easy to tell the ITU nurses; we swear better than everyone else.
That never wears off – hence ‘Doodletwats’Posted 2 months ago
@maccruiskeen It’s not me, but he is describing a very similar set up and the same issues.Posted 2 months ago
It’s not me,
I realised it wasn’t but it was an odd feeling of Deja Vu!Posted 2 months ago
My best friend an OT wrote this yesterday morning:
This wk has been crazy with split shifts, tying up things with my old job, having to make sure all my old patients are sorted, as well of those of my team and deal with management things I do.
The ward I’ve been sent to is not designated c19 ward. It’s a 25 bed ward where people (mostly elderly) are sent from the hospital when they are medically optimised. I’m not sure I’ll stay clear of CV because its spreading fast, but for now I’m dealing with critically ill patients.
That said the patients are extremely complex and in some ways more of a challenge in that we have to get them home.
It can take a whole day dealing with just one patient.
It has been a baptism of fire… new area of work, new staff, new documentation and new systems that are changing day by day due to C19.
The place is not well managed and from a therapy point of view and had hardly any staff with loads of issues.
I have been made team leader and told to sort it and been given staff from off site who have never done this work before.
Its an absolute nightmare and I’m feel I’m flying off the seat of my pants all the time.
To top it all I’m getting my boss mithering me for stuff via email and now text!
We have also gone to 7 days working, so have been tasked with the job of getting a very reluctant group of people to work their hours over 7 days.
There was no cover this weekend so I am in both today and tomorrow… alone.
Totally shitting my pants as still don’t feel up to speed!
Anyway, will get on with it and shout if feel unsure. Going to be a very stressful few months and the coming weekend and days will see pressures on the hospital services that we have never seen before.
I’m sure I will have to cover some of the critically-ill work over at the hospital at some point, but we shall see.
I am so worried about her, she is shattered, tired and has 2 children and a useless, lazy estranged husband. I don’t know how to help her.Posted 2 months ago
Bunnyhop – is she nearby? cook her a dinner and leave it on her step. ( but tell her yo have done so)Posted 2 months ago
If you can help her by taking the kids for a long walk?
I moan about my job but I get to go home and relax; people with kids at home in this situation are working much, much harder than me and have my admiration and respect.
Can you plan a night time thing?
I’ve suggested to my neighbour, 3 kids, separated from husband, that I fire up the chiminea in our garden and let them sit around the fire and do stories and stuff. I’ll be keeping out of the way.Posted 2 months ago
Thanks TJ and Crikey – unfortunately I am self isolating, not going out at all, except for a tandem ride (away from people, which we can do as we’re semi rural). Hubby is having to self isolate with me. He went out last week to give blood. All his clothes thrown into the wash and a full shower and hairwash.
Thank you to everyone, you are just too amazing for words. bunnyhop x
Atm I’m going to be making nurses uniform laundry bags. They’re designed to throw the uniform into bag after a shift, then bag gets emptied into washing machine, along with bag itself. Then hopefully I’m going onto sewing scrubs. We’re just waiting for more fabric and instructions for those. My sewing workroom is at home so I feel safe in doing this.Posted 2 months ago
Thats me back to work tomorrow after almost a month off – holiday then isolating ‘cos my other half got a temp. Going to a new ward where I have never worked – rehab tho so a familiar area to work in but with a view to be helping open mothballed wards in the same building if required.
Not really at the pointy end but I have no idea where they are with PPE and if they have any positive patients.
I am shitting myself – mainly ‘cos I hate starting a new workplace – all those names to learn and finding my way around.Posted 1 month ago
This occasionally involves waiting for people to calm down, to wipe tears away, then carrying on. ITU is very, very different to working elsewhere, and no one is expecting people to cope straightaway.
Have a big thumbs up for this simple humanity to the new starters on the frontline. Stay safe all of you.
As an aside the GE consultant I throw funnies at across Twitter calculated that the ‘huge’ amount of PPE delivered was. . . A WEEKS WORTH.
The imbalance of FFP3 to surgical masks was stunning on the breakdown (too few FFP3 masks, too may surgical masks).Posted 1 month ago
This was doing the rounds yesterday. Allons y et courage mes bravesPosted 1 month ago
I’m told that the criteria for ‘at risk’ and ‘high risk’ have been changed so eg asthmatics are being downgraded and placed in more exposed roles. If this is a war, as all those Biggles types in government would have you believe, it’s more like the Somme.Posted 1 month ago
We’re doing ok.
It’s a fine balance between letting people out for 30-60 minutes a day for a walk around the grounds and watching people go stir crazy.
Most service users have come from prison or from a very secure hospital environment, so are used to a more restrictive regime, but self harm and minor challenges to authority are on the rise.
Most SU’s in our place have a diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia, so all our experience is going towards managing the issues associated with that, which have been exacerbated by the current regime.
Social distancing amongst SU’s is non existant, constant reminders soon become counter productive.
We can’t keep a distance between staff and SU’s.
The food provided is poor and obviously the gym and social activities have been kyboshed, which doesn’t help.
We are very lucky. The situation in local general hospitals is about as bad as you’d imagine and it’s beginning to hit care homes on a frightening scale.
Love to all.Posted 1 month ago
I’ve just done my third shift behind the ‘red’ door at A&E doing triage assessments on admissions. I was in the community as an ANP, but have got over 20 years of working A&E under my belt. The full PPE does make for an uncomfortable shift. But if I survive this, I will be minted!!Posted 1 month ago
Just in awe at the amazing courage and modesty of staff on the front line and those supporting them. Reading these posts is humbling.Posted 1 month ago
Mrs Devbrix is a respiratory Sister and is running the C19 ward which is effectively a step below ITU, they work closely with ITU stepping patients up and down, ventilating with CPAP.
It’s been hugely tough on her very experienced and capable team. She spends a lot of time trying to keep staff morale up, dealing with panic attacks and (unbelievably) on occasion stroppy relatives. She was ringing relatives on her day off yesterday. She is now permanently exhausted and more stressed than I have ever seen her and she is very tough mentally and physically. They are constantly thinking through PPE and as Crikey says it’s a tough gig wearing all that for 12 hours. Patients are of all ages including some healthcare workers which makes the team even more fearful. What she finds most hard is the lottery that patients go off in a big way so suddenly.
It’s had a massive impact on our home life as she is anxious about giving it to the family. The arriving home cleaning and disinfecting routine she has now is of military precision. The hugs from me and the kids have been stopped. I’ve said to her she has a choice to work there but there’s absolutely no way she would leave her team. This morning before she went off to work she made me promise if she got sick I would not allow her to be ventilated.
I’m in the wrong specialty to be C19 front line at the moment and continuing to plod on with the usual clinical work in a bizarrely quiet and empty hospital, running the operational planning for the ‘surge’ and what we are going to do when we have our own C19 patients and all those sick patients who have been staying away get really unwell.
It’s been a tough few weeks for a lot of staff and their families and we have months of this ahead.
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