Medical staff on the front line are working under intense pressures during the Pandemic. As the UK passes over 100, 000 COVID related deaths, Nurse Leanne Chambers gives a moving insight into the Vaccine distribution.
A day in the life of a Nurse during COVID-19
Leanne is the one of the managers of a community health care team working alongside the NHS to deliver the COVID-19 vaccination – visiting patients in their homes to do so.
Its 8am, and nurse Leanne is already run off her feet, she has had to change her original working schedule to accommodate administering the vaccine.
The new job role includes each nurse giving 11 doses of the vaccine to housebound patients per day, alongside their other patient duties.
There is the one constant thought at the back of her mind, ‘what if I catch COVID-19 and bring it home to my family?’
As the home vaccinations commenced, Leanne and her team were allowed access to lateral-flow tests, which they test for twice a week.
One huge obstacle that nurses face is dealing with those who are skeptical about the vaccine, reassuring the public is incredibly stressful when they can only refer to the evidence that they’ve been given.
The science and Government guidance is ever changing, and the fear of the unknown from the general public has been a “huge difficulty” when trying to administer the vaccinations.
The unpredictability that nurses face about knowing when surgeries will receive the vaccine makes it very difficult for Leanne and her team to arrange home visits.
Leanne said: “As a nursing manager we have supported staff through daily changes from local/national policies driven by the government, an increase in cases with multiple referrals where patients are isolated, lonely, socially struggling and deprived throughout two lockdowns.
“We also have to train staff up quickly to administer Covid-19 vaccines to housebound patients.
“The rollout of the program needs to be safe, both for nursing staff and patients while also remaining patient focused and timely in its’ delivery.”
With the BBC reporting that the Government has made plans to make vaccines available to 15 million people, some are soon hoping for a return to normal life.
As the third national lockdown continues, Leanne and her staff are essential to hitting the vaccination targets promised by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The nurses are the soldiers in this invisible battle against COVID-19, and Leanne said: “As a management team we have worked hard to support the nursing team offering reassurance, positivity and a sense of unity for the cause and the response has been amazing.
“The nursing team are a true credit to patients, themselves and the NHS.
“Whatever challenges they have faced, they have supported each other.”
There are many people working behind the scenes at the NHS as well as on the front line, and every role is key to playing a part in eradicating the virus.
Whether administering the Vaccines, taking care of Hospital patients or booking patients in, the NHS are working incredibly hard to keep the UK’s population safe.
Emma Pook is the bank manager in the Solent NHS team, and originally helped with the fast-track recruitment when COVID-19 started to try and help with demand.
Her role now includes helping with the vaccine hubs and getting people booked, as well as arranging the bookings sites.
She said: “Because so many people need vaccinating, we can’t just manage our staff, we have to vaccinate and arrange this for other organizations and partners throughout the UK.
“This can make it unrealistic to keep up those numbers, but it’s manageable at the minute.
“I think the struggles will be with the second vaccines and rolling them out.”
The continued pressures on the NHS have caused an increase in sick leave and need for adaptation to change.
However, Emma is optimistic about the success of the vaccine, and how it may relieve pressures on the NHS.
She said: “once people are vaccinated I feel like we will have more controls on the other strains, and we can get rid of all the downfalls from lockdowns.
“The first vaccine gives 45% protection and the second boosts that to 95% for the Pfizer one, which I think will hopefully help with some of the strains on the NHS and key workers.”
The Younger Generation
Younger generations of students have been drafted on the front-line including physiotherapists, midwives and nurses.
Hundreds of medical students across the UK have extended their placements and have been working to ease the pressure on the NHS from the Pandemic.
Third year physiotherapy student Bella Series volunteered at her local trust to help in the first lockdown to ease the pressures on the NHS.
She has received the first dose of the vaccine and has been working in hospitals on her placement to gain first-hand experience.