'It's a little bit scary' - Nurses re-deployed to Covid front line
- Credit: Brittany Woodman/Mikayla Warren/Megan Childs
Redeployed hospital staff are volunteering for friends, colleagues and patients, as they take on roles at the sharp end of the Covid crisis.
Children's nurses Mikayla Warren and Megan Childs are among a growing number of Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital staff stepping up to work in different areas, with both taking shifts in the high dependency unit on Gissing Ward.
Data from NHS England shows up to 501 staff were absent with virus-related sickness or through self-isolation in the week ending January 6, compared to a maximum of 999 in the week ending April 6 last year.
Megan Childs, a nurse on the Children’s Assessment Unit (CAU), moved her normal shifts and booked bank shifts when the unit was short staffed.
She said: “I’ve friends and colleagues in this trust and others who’ve had their departments closed to be redeployed to critical care and had family and friends who’ve contracted Covid, so I'm volunteering for them, to do my bit in the pandemic and support and help wherever possible.
“If there’s one thing I've learnt from this experience, it’s how quick we are to support each other and how even doing a quick set of observations for a team member can help ease their day just that little bit."
She added: “I was really nervous when originally asked to move, but I felt supported throughout the entire shift, and know this will continue throughout any future moves or bank shifts."
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On Friday, the hospital's medical director said 30 military personnel were being brought in to help clinical staff.
Miss Warren, a children's nurse on Buxton Ward, said: “I did it to demonstrate commitment to the wider NHS team and prove that no matter where you work, we can all work within our competence to support patients, their families and fellow staff during challenging times."