Dublin Simon Nurses on the Frontline During Covid-19
Jisha Mohan, Staff Nurse
Coronavirus is no challenge to us because we are using every possible technique to control it. Our clients know that the virus is dangerous, but they aren’t worried because they know we will protect them. They are employing the handwashing techniques and social distancing, and we are running their errands on their behalf to keep them safe inside. The clients aren’t leaving the service. To help with boredom, we are providing food, series, books and art materials for the people interested in art.
I initially felt some worry about the coronavirus, but this is a crucial situation and we need to face it. We are the armed forces of the health service. We need to fight and we need to do the best this tie. This is my time to prove myself as a healthcare professional. We overcame plague and cholera and we will overcome this I’m sure.
We have discussed it as a team – the coronavirus, the consequences, everything. We have support from the HSE, Sláinte and the Mater hospital and we are ready to fight and are prepared for anything.
By Jisha Mohan, Staff Nurse, Dublin Simon Community
Nurse Elsa Sonia Varghese
In Step-Up Step-Down, we work mainly with vulnerable homeless people who have medical issues, breathing issues, hypertension or need their dressings changed regularly. Some may also have addiction issues.
A lot of our clients come from rough sleeping. Step-Up Step-Down provides a safe place for clients to recover when they come out of hospital. That would not be there for them if we did not stay open during Covid-19.
Nursing is my passion and this type of nursing suits me. We are mainly working with people who feel very isolated. The patients I treated in my general nursing job, they had someone – friends and family to talk to. When you get a chance to speak with the clients here, get talking, you realise that they need someone to express their feelings to and you are that person. It’s hard to explain that type of job satisfaction.
We have extended Step-Up Step-Down to include 20 more beds. This will mean 36 beds will be available in acute hospitals for those in need due to Covid-19. Previously we used to do handovers with all staff. Now, only two nurses are allowed in the nurses’ station and handovers are happening over the phone. We are using gloves when touching the clients and are cleaning the equipment we use with alcohol, like the blood pressure cuff, after each use. We are keeping our distance and giving our clients space where possible during all procedures.
Some clients are conscious of Covid-19 – they use the hand sanitiser and they ask us for it. Others are not so aware – so we need to really take care of them.
by Elsa Sonia Varghese, Nurse