Nicola’s story – life during COVID-19
"The Unit I work in is an admissions unit so it is a COVID zone (a red zone) you cannot enter the doors without your masks on."
“I feel I am practically running to the hospital entrance, I am genuinely happy to be here, I had forgotten at that moment why I was there. I didn’t forget for long. The Unit I work in is an admissions unit so it is a COVID zone (a red zone) you cannot enter the doors without your masks on.
We have quite a few patients come in, for various different reasons and for today I am doing a bit of everything while getting to know my new mentor. I always make sure I go round and see who each patient is, find out what is going on and try to find time to introduce myself and tell them my name. I find that even more important right now, as no one can see my mouth so they can’t see me smile, even if I still do it instinctively, I find it a bigger need to speak and make my body language say ‘you are welcome here and I want to help you!’
It has been a long day and I am sore all over, it is a day of mixed emotions, some people went home, some had bad news and some unfortunately were dealing with the true nightmare of COVID. But it is home time now and I need to think about my plan into the house so I can keep my family safe. I have packed my dirty uniform into my pillow case. Once I actually get in my house I can shower and make myself feel safe so I can see my kids before they go to bed. But I still don’t want to touch them, the fear of passing on COVID when I am in such close contact with it all day is terrifying. All in all it’s been a good day and I feel I made the right decision to go on placement, I am absolutely in the right place. It’s bed time now and then I can wake up at 5am again tomorrow to do it all again.”
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