Celebrating International Nurses Day 2020

Celebrating International Nurses Day 2020

Today marks International Nurses Day and this year is the World Health Organization’s Year of the Nurse and Midwife, marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale. To highlight the occasion, we are showcasing the work on Covid-19 of three Churchill Fellows who are nurses. We asked them to describe their main learnings or activities in the current health emergency.

Celebrating International Nurses Day 2020 banner

2020 Fellow Pauline Milne, independent healthcare consultant and registered nurse

“The combination of bravery, resilience and compassion I have witnessed from nurses has been exceptional. No problem was insurmountable - with new solutions found, innovations introduced, different ways of working implemented at scale and pace. Changes have been led by nurses who are working closely with patients and are motivated to improve care and outcomes in incredibly difficult circumstances.

What has been achieved is truly amazing. However, we must prioritise the mental health and wellbeing of nurses, by enabling them to reflect on and talk about their experiences – their achievements as well as their pain, fears and doubts. This is paramount as we recover from Covid-19, as a society, and emerge as a stronger profession.”

2018 Fellow Allison Sykes, senior nurse in infection prevention and control

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shone a light on the pivotal role of infection prevention and control (IPC) nurses across all health and social care settings, in preventing harm from the transmission of communicable diseases.

I and the other IPC specialists within our organisation (and across the UK as a whole) have used our knowledge and expertise to enable staff to care for patients with Covid-19 in safe and supported environments. We have also seen the incredible resilience and adaptability of nurses from all specialties and health sectors when responding to this ever-changing landscape.”

2019 Fellow Eleanor Corcoran, pre-doctoral fellow at the National Institute for Health Research

“I am based at King's College Hospital in London, which has seen some of the highest numbers of critical care admissions in the country. This has driven a military-like operation, in order to facilitate an increased ICU capacity to 151 beds from 66, with staff across all areas of the hospital either redeployed to support the ICU nurses or coping as best they can to continue delivering essential services within the trust.

The current pandemic has allowed me to use the ultrasound skills which I learnt as part of my Fellowship in Australia, on Covid-19 patients, to identify significant pathology and guide treatment. t has also led to the development of a planned service evaluation in line with a national project with the Intensive Care Society (ICS) in partnership with the Society of Acute Medicine (SAM) that I aim to lead at our site. This will assess the advantage of lung ultrasound in identifying the severity of Covid-19 infections, and whether imaging can direct the most effective treatment for the individual patient.”


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