Through The Eyes of: A Mater Dei Nurse During Covid

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This segment will feature a number of articles written through the eyes of various professionals and how technology affects their lives professionally and as a means of entertainment. First up is a nurse at Mater Dei during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first thing to talk about is the testing still being done. Hundreds, if not thousands of swabs are taken daily, and the technology is of a high enough standard that results are provided within 24-48 hours. It has merged the best of human resources, hardware and software for several months. In our ward, portable X-ray machines have been used before, but their value has increased, as we’re still limiting patient movement. There’s also the pneumatic tube system, which apart from blood tests and medicines, we also send other vital items, like chocolates to different departments, which was handy during Easter!

However, we’ve got to think of technology beyond equipment used for patients or at nursing stations. It extends to entertainment too, as not all wards have televisions available. Patients who don’t have smartphones or tablets have found it difficult to see their relatives. It’s tough enough as it is, let alone hearing but not being able to see your loved ones. Is there something that could be done in this case?

Still, it’s worth remembering that each cloud has a silver lining. After the initial shock of the virus outbreak, a real sense of community was instilled in most wards. Patients who would have kept to themselves bonded with fellow patients and staff members, encouraging each other that the situation would eventually pass. The general public’s support has also been encouraging, whilst several restaurants have delivered food free of charge to various hospital staff.

Outside hospital online ordering has been a revelation – facing this ten years ago would have probably been messy. It’s not just food deliveries, grocery shopping can be picked up or delivered to your door.

As for free time, the Asics app has accurately kept track of my runs, helping me stay fit since football has been stopped. Colleagues of mine have been sharing their daily workouts online, and nurses around the world have created a mini-community on TikTok too, connecting through various shenanigans. Think of it as a kind of group choreography (read: therapy).

@nursekala

I actually have no words. Only laughter… @brennasue1023 @pcimom ##MakeMomSmile ##nurse ##doctor ##hospitallife ##oncall

♬ I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

The rest of my time has been split between Netflix (of course), outdoor runs (Asics app to keep track, Bose wireless headphones to keep the pace) and though I’ve missed the touch of an actual book, Kindle has done the job. I’ve also been using DuoLingo for 15 minutes a day, practising a new language, since outdoor activities were limited.

I thank my friends for preserving what sanity is left through Whatsapp and Facetime, Bolt Food for bailing me out when cooking motivation abandons me, and Vivino for providing the full details on my Wineclub Malta purchases. Now that the lockdown has been lifted, it’s worth remembering that the first battle has passed, but the war is still being fought.

So, cherish the special moments (we never really know what’s around the corner), keep washing your hands like your life depends on it (it does, and so does that of others) and don’t hoard sanitizers and toilet paper (that’s nasty).

I will sign off here, and I wish you all a safe summer. Time for some wine…


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