Humans of Scotland

Jennifer’s story – being a physiotherapist during COVID-19

"The reward of seeing some of our most unwell patients being discharged home has made it all worthwhile.”

Jennifer
This story is about: Services and SupportCOVID-19Physiotherapy

“Normally I work in a small Women’s Health team as a physio treating continence and maternity patients. In March, just before lockdown I was redeployed to the acute services at Ayr hospital, after nearly 4 years off the wards.  It was nerve wracking coming back to my old base. I was excited about working with old friends but unsure about having to make new relationships with staff I’d never met before.

If it hadn’t been daunting enough returning to acute wards the idea of Covid wards and PPE was a lot to get my head round! Thankfully our department has done regular updates and training on PPE, infection control, hand hygiene so it soon felt normal and my skills were back up to scratch.

I felt a real anxiety about working with patients with Covid19. The main reason was returning home every night to my young family and the risk of spreading infection to my home. I quickly got in to a routine of putting my uniform in its pillow case, shoes in to a plastic bag then showering before leaving work. When I walk into the house my husband makes sure the washing machine is empty for me coming through the door to throw my bag in the wash. Then I feel safe for cuddles with my kids.

I have also had to get used to a change of shift pattern, working 4 long days including a Saturday. While it’s been nice to have three days off to help with home schooling, it has impacted on family life as we only have 1 work free day off as a family. However, we are finding new ways to spend time together with evening walks and now out on our paddle boards.

I have been amazed at the support I’ve received from my new colleagues, as some days have been physically hard and emotionally upsetting. However the reward of seeing some of our most unwell patients being discharged home has made it all worthwhile.”