During the current coronavirus crisis, many people have stepped forward to help the NHS in its daily battle against the pandemic. One of them is local nurse Rebecca Charlton. Rebecca is a nurse at Julia’s House, but took the difficult decision to leave the Dorset and Wiltshire children’s hospice charity and return to a local NHS hospital Emergency Department (ED) during the Covid-19 outbreak. Here’s her personal story:
What took you back to the NHS during COVID-19?
I had only left the ED three months before the COVID-19 pandemic. I had a conversation with the team at Julia’s House and felt that I would be most useful returning to the NHS as I had only been with them for a short time. Being a nurse, I like to feel useful and that I am helping as much as I can.
Was it a difficult decision and why?
Yes it was a difficult decision, I was starting to find my feet and feel settled at Julia’s House. I was feeling like part of the team and I think it is always a difficult decision to go back after making a decision to leave somewhere. Having worked in the emergency department for over 13 years, I felt like my skills and knowledge were best placed to return and work alongside my NHS colleagues and friends in the emergency department at such a crucial time.
What is your role?
In the ED I am working in both green and red areas depending on where I’m allocated. As a nurse, I am covering different aspects of the department such as co-ordinating areas, resus and streaming.
What are the particular challenges?
To start with I found things difficult as all the systems and ways of working had changed since I was last there. Now however, things change on a daily basis and we have all learnt to be flexible and adapt to changes as and when required. Adapting to working whilst wearing PPE has been challenging, a lot of communication is non-verbal and wearing face coverings can be a barrier to this. Also, trying to make patients feel reassured is difficult when you are wearing gloves and unable to provide comfort as you would do normally.