Nursing in the Covid-19 pandemic

The world of nursing is always a bit surreal, one moment you are just looking after yourself, only your life is in your hands, and then the next, you are at work and often 8 (sometimes more, sometimes less) lives are in your hands. The smallest decisions you make can make or break a persons recovery.

I'm currently a third year student nurse, I qualify in about 8 months time, I realise now, people were being completely serious when they told me at the start of this journey that the time would fly by and before I know it I would be qualified. This summer marks by 4 years of working within the NHS, that has also flown by, if I'm completely honest I thought I would maybe stay for a couple of years then go and try something else out, but here we are, progressing career-wise and learning new things every day.

Personally, I have been lucky so far during the pandemic, I have not seen any confirmed covid-19 cases in my work areas but that does not mean that it is business as usual. There is the obvious, we now wear masks for 12.5 hours, for me personally I wear a mask from 06:50 when I get the bus to work until 20:30 when I get off the bus. I have been quite lucky, I wore masks for long periods of time on my previous placement at the end of 2019 so I was somewhat used to wearing the masks! However, that doesn't mean my skin is not paying the price for wearing these masks. I won't lie, they aren't the comfiest, I wear glasses so I have to pull the masks quite tight to prevent fogging, I usually end the shift with a very red nose as the masks rub my nose every time I move my face! My ears hurt from the ear loops on the masks, I have tried some of the homemade headbands which were so kindly donated to the hospital, but often when I use these I do not get the correct fit of my mask and then my glasses steam up and I would rather have sore ears than not be able to see!

Another impact of covid-19 is the heartbreaking impact on patients. Not allowing patients to have visitors is horrible, some hospitals in the UK are slowing opening up the visiting again, but they aren't in the hospital I am working in currently. It is horrible seeing patients having to hear details about their diagnosis, good or bad, alone with no friends or family there for support. Yes, we as nurses and our colleagues try our best to support the patients but no ma