From a nurse.. ‘adapting to working differently during Covid-19’

by Kirsty Telfer, Staff Nurse.

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"Coronavirus", "Covid-19", "The rona", "Chinese virus" whatever you want to call it, we are in the unknown and it's scary. It's scary for everyone whether you're sat at home self-isolating, working the frontline in the NHS or supporting the frontline in keyworker roles. As a nurse in the charity sector I've seen huge changes in the way we operate already.

On the 17th March the announcement was made that Leuchie House would temporarily close its doors to our respite guests. This came with a huge range of emotions for myself. I had been hoping for this decision to be made due to the complexities of our guests, however knowing that all our wonderful guests would be self-isolated for 12 weeks with minimal contact nearly broke my heart. It was also very 'up in the air' what staff would be doing during the 12 weeks that Leuchie House was effectively "closed" for... Surely we can't help the refurbishments and paint for 12 weeks! I mean Leuchie is big but maybe not quite that big!

So the 19th March came and we said cheerio to our final guests. It was all very surreal and I know myself and other colleagues genuinely felt a bit numb but spirits were still fairly high, mainly due to the daft hat Mell and Shirley got me to wear for my birthday! I'm sure you'll all agree that Leuchie staff are always great at keeping spirits up and having a giggle, even if they are laughing at themselves.

News came out that we would be supporting the NHS by taking patients that were fit for discharge and required somewhere to stay as a step-down while they waited for their packages of care. While this came with a huge sense of pride to be supporting our wonderful NHS, it also came with many anxieties and what must have been a million questions put to the senior management team. Answers were given to the best of their knowledge and guidance given from NHS and the government.

Before we knew it we opened our doors and welcomed our first two lovely residents. Our intake has been steady and has allowed us to spend time getting to know each of our new residents. As you can imagine many, many laughs have been shared already. I think the new residents have quickly realised Leuchie's many unique qualities, mainly being that the staff are just slightly crazy but that's what makes the place what it is.

The last few weeks have been a steep learning curve and have presented us with many challenges and obstacles but with the Leuchie team being as strong as it is just now we have all pulled together and adapted to overcome those obstacles.

Despite the heightened fears, worries and anxieties that are present just now, the care and compassion of our staff has shined through even more than ever. All of our staff have worked together tirelessly to ensure that they are protected against this awful virus and to provide the best level of care possible to our new residents.

Once this crazy pandemic is over I imagine it'll be very bittersweet for all at Leuchie. We'll be sad to see our residents go however we will be delighted to see our respite guests back once again. Keep safe everyone and stay at home please!

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