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Lockdown Letters 'It's an honour to look after such vulnerable patients during the worldwide pandemic'

Rachel Kerrane (24) from Co Roscommon is working as a nurse in London

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Rachel Kerrane is originally from Roscommon and currently lives in London.

Rachel Kerrane is originally from Roscommon and currently lives in London.

Rachel Kerrane is originally from Roscommon and currently lives in London.

My name is Rachel, I’m 24 and I moved to the UK two years ago from Roscommon. I’m currently working in a busy London hospital as a gynaecology nurse.

Lately, I often feel scared going into work. We don’t know what to expect and everything changes so quickly. It’s a very worrying time.

Staff are being placed in areas outside of their expertise to cover a shortage of personnel. There is no time to be inducted to these new units.

Recently, I went in for a night shift. At the last minute, I was changed to a Covid-19 positive ward, where I would look after Covid-19 positive patients.

As I entered the ward and placed on my mask, I felt like I couldn’t breathe with the anxiety of what lay ahead that night. I tried to think positive about the whole situation. I wanted to care for the patients to the best of my ability and give them the care that they deserve.

The night included many tasks, such as giving medications, monitoring vital signs and encouraging patients to drink as much water as they could. It was so busy, I barely had time to take a drink of water myself.

It was a very stressful environment and I often worried if I was protected enough with the personal protective equipment. I did everything I could to minimise the risk.

The patients were very ill, and I tried to reassure them as much as I could. My heart went out to them and their families. I’ve never experienced anything like it before.

At the end of the shift, even though I was so exhausted, I felt like I gave the best possible care that I could to the patients. Even though it’s stressful and busy, it is an honour to look after such vulnerable people during the pandemic.

I advise everyone to listen to the Government’s advice and just stay in your home. Frontline workers do not have a choice. It really does save lives!

We are living history. The challenges posed by Covid 19 are similar the world over but everybody’s experience of this emergency will be different. In this special series, ‘Lockdown Letters' gives our readers at home and across the globe an opportunity to share their stories about how the Coronavirus and the measures to tackle its spread are impacting their lives in these unprecedented times.

Please email your submission (400 words max.) to stories@independent.ie along with a photograph. We will publish as many letters as possible on Independent.ie and a selection in print every week.

Online Editors