My name is Katy Cox, Deputy Ward Manager at the Haldon (RMN).
My day starts at around 8am when I arrive on to the ward. Before I can enter I change in to my uniform, take my temperature and put on a face mask which is worn and changed throughout my shift.
On our eating disorders ward it has been extremely difficult trying to support the patients in the dining room as we are unable to do our usual routines. This has caused increased levels of stress and anxiety in our patient group which staff have had to manage.
The team have numerous additional duties to complete, such as Tristel cleaning, increased physical observations and managing new admissions in the isolation area. They have also had to adapt quickly to new changes such as the adoption of PPE, changing guidance around BLS, as well as the need to learn new clinical skills which may have to be put in to practice.
I’ve been managing change relating to all the new guidance around PPE and resus within the nursing team as best I can. This has been a big task due to the guidance constantly changing so communicating these changes effectively has been vital. We have been doing mini scenarios on the ward relating to BLS, resus and PPE and this has really helped the team feel confident in using equipment and managing potential high risk situations. Ensuring the staff feel appreciated and giving feedback to the team on how well all the changes have been implemented had helped keep morale high.
The one piece of important advice for those working on wards wearing PPE is to keep smiling – your eyes still show you are smiling even with your mask on!