TCCA Celebrates International Nurses Day
TOMORROW, (Tuesday 12 May) is International Nurses Day! Every year we acknowledge the amazing commitment that our nurses provide on a daily basis to support our community.
We would like to say a big thank you from Thurrock Coronavirus Community Action to all the nurses across the country for their continuous hard work and dedication to ensure the safety of our loved ones at this very worrying time.
We were lucky enough to speak to Maria Whelan 51, Thurrock and Ross Cracknell 37, Basildon, who are usually based in Thurrock CCG’s Continuing Health Care (CHC) Team, but have since been redeployed to the frontline.
Together they explained: “The Covid-19 emergency is brutal but has also shown us how much we can all achieve when we pull together; we have no words to describe how amazed we are by the selflessness of people to care for others. It’s humbling and makes us very proud to be part of the caring profession and of course part of the NHS.
“Although we are all nurses within the CHC team, everybody has changed their roles to ensure our current and new patients are safe; ranging from weekly telephone calls and follow up calls to recently discharged patients to ensure that everything is going well, and that care has commenced.
“Within the hospital, we are nurses first and foremost, but with our skills in our usual job we are still able to make decisions with patients about their discharge plans, in conjunction with their families, to ensure that the patients are offered the best outcome possible within the current landscape all within very short spaces of time.
“On a Typical day we start at 8am, completing handovers, cross referencing and discharges for the day. There are two Ward rounds during the day at 9am and 2pm; where we discuss patient journeys and when they might be able to be discharged from hospital, we then report back to the discharge team about each patient.”
Maria and Ross said: “We talk to the patients about what they want and liaise with their families about their next steps in care and what suits them as an individual. We then organise take home medication and patient transport, finishing our normal days at 6:00pm.
“It has felt good to go back to the front line and make a difference during this difficult time. There are one or two patients who really have an impact on you and you feel a real sense of satisfaction in organising the next part of their journey to recovery.
“Working during the Covid-19 period has been a weird place not just for us in the health care professions, but for everyone; and this shows.
“When going to and from work; we are seeing people chatting in the street whilst walking their dogs, but they are at a safe distance; seeing people queue up at shops is just surreal. For us working during this period, it’s been thinking about not only our patients and colleagues; but also our families, ensuring that we minimise the risks both at work and at home.
“Currently our whole routine has changed, from what we do in the morning at home, to what we do at work and what we do when we get home; initially we were working from home, which was nice in the beginning, but it soon became increasingly evident that we could not do everything that we needed to.
“Then we were asked to assist on Mayfield Unit at Thurrock Community Hospital with discharge planning; the first few days were going well; ward rounds and care were quite calm and then came the news that the ward was temporarily closing; this gave us a new challenge of clearing the ward with colleagues from the CHC team – but we managed it!
“We were moved to Brentwood Community Hospital, as part of the new Community Hospital Discharge Team, this is a new service during the Covid-19 period. This brought new challenges such as dealing with different patients and moving them to safe spaces and places to support them in the next part of their journey and moving 18 patients within a small space.
“We are nurses but have had to embrace being even more quick thinking and making many more decisions during this time.
Ross said: “What has surprised me the most, is that my uniform still fits! Seriously though, the biggest surprise is how the whole health economy has come together as one. We all say that our own little teams are our work family; this is now more evident as we have different roles but we all still stick together.”
If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer with the Thurrock Coronavirus Community Action Group, please register here: tiny.cc/ThurrockVolunteer
If you’re unable to volunteer but would still like to help, please consider making a donation to Giving for Thurrock (GiFT) here: tiny.cc/ThurrockGift