Today we have a genuine coronavirus helper among our readers: Matthew Jenkins. His caption is below, followed by his photo, and the title of his submission is “Going In”. Musgrove Park Hospital is in Taunton, Somerset, England.
I am a theatre nurse – my job is to assist the surgeon during operations and prepare equipment and the operating theatre for cases. However, elective operations have been cancelled and theatre staff moved to help in other areas such as ICU and HDU.
The photograph shows Udaya and I about to head into a patient care area at ten thirty pm on our first shift in ICU, to help turn a seriously-ill patient on her side, a procedure complicated by all the cables and tubes attached. Actually turning a patient over, termed ‘proning’, has about thirty-six different elements to remember. You don’t, for example, want to forget to unclamp a naso-gastric tube at the end. By the time the shift finished at seven am, we were pretty tired, and with a lot of respect for the ICU nurses.
ICU is in the oldest part of Musgrove Park Hospital. New staff are always proudly told that the corridors are slightly wider than a jeep – the hospital was originally built by the US Air Force. There are pictures on the walls showing freezing young men in uniform trudging through snow between Nissen huts, pretty nurses from Maine receiving mail from home, and recovering men playing basketball under the watchful eye of a waistcoated doctor.