Just a quick update as I'm pretty sure noone can threaten me with wanting to report me to the NMC
So I'm an agency nurse part timer (about 20 hours permanent and a shift or 2 on agency).
Have noticed the work drying up but thats probably cos the Trusts are figuring out their long term strategy and managing to use the staff they've already got and been redeployed more efficiently. Not complaning as it means I dont need to feel guilty for not taking on shifts and being bombarded with phone calls (not that it happens with my agency mind you).
Thats my backstory so you can understand that there's no chance of any affiliation to a specific NHS Trust in the aforementioned... Been travelling alot - my usual range is about 100 to 200 miles but thats only cos I like driving and my agency covers fuel but during the crisis I've resteicted myself to 100 miles so am not a cause of any spread as such* - as I felt it's the right thing to do to ease pressure. Have not tried to do too much OT as we have 4 kids between us (1 estranged to us and 2 stepchildren... one hers and the other mine).
So the first few weeks it did look pretty crap and stressful. At my regular place of work as well as other units across the wider region. Was rather sad...
Anyway, to cut a long one short. In the last week I've seen 2 patients who looked like death only a week before. One that I'd seen before a few times (young lady in her 30s with Asthma and mild obesity) on my travels and another chap (high blood pressure and type 2 but insulin dependent diabetes) in his 50s. Both have/had been ventilated for almost 3 full weeks (thats a rather long time for continuing ventilation and had the influx veen alot faster and even greater I'm not sure such management could have continued... but I don't know... I'm not a doc, just a lowly cyclist ex bus driver and B&Q worker) so havr been literally to deaths door.
The lady (everyone couldn't help but say high whilst walking past her and she gave you the cutest smile and response back) went to the ward yesterday and had veen eating prior to that. Frim what I could see she'd also veen making her own decisions and communicating well.
The gent who I saw midweek was talking and making his own decisions, able to use his upper body strength as well as trying to use legs to shuffle up bed and oxygen was down to room air level (fluctuating between 21 and 23%). Still on the ventilator but only a matter of days I'd imagine before the dropped that down to a standard mode of breathing (non ventilator). He'd been on ICU so long and with such high O2 requirementa that he'd been proned at least 3 times over the 3 weeks and had a tracheostomy done (to breath straight via the neck to relieve the burden on his mouth) on the 16th IIRC. Able to communicate but not get his words out just yet (various factors) so was eother mouthing his words or writing em down.
So bloomin wonderful to see that. I also asked one or 2 of the consultants during my travels about how long they're giving on average before deciding the patient wasn't doing well at all and the answer was 3 weeks (I reckon I've actually seen slightly longer but can't be sure as not kept track as such).
Hopefully that might bring a smile to some as without the measures and self restraint I'm not sure places would have coped as they have been doing. For the record, I have seen 1 nurse managing 2 ICU patients and heard straight from the horses mouth how they'd actually managed 3 and 4 patients (with junior support) on ventilators at certain times.
As you might appreciate, I won't be taking questions if thats ok, in case I mistakenly go over the 'maintain privacy and confidentiality' line at any point. Plus it stops me from trying/pretending to be a pandemic expert... I'm not but I could guesstimate that the measures DO SEEM to be working and I've seen far more poeple survive now than have seen deaths
Another thing I just recalled is that the chap mentioned actually had a cardiac arrest in the specific A&E he'd been brought to during admission. It was due to the extremely low levels of oxygen in his blood. Proper poorly man and a proper (IMO) success story... erm... well done Boris
am I allowed to say that... I do hate that man btw the racist t********t
*I wipe down everything after a shift and even my shoes are ankle high abd laminated/waterproof so get a good wash prior to leaving shift. Uniform is scrubs (under) and PPE over. So everthing either gets binned before leaving the actual 'poorly people' section or sent for washing in special bags after getting changed/washed proper...