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'We nursing home staff are being sent to war with no armour in the coronavirus battle'

An interim director of nursing tells Catherine Fegan of the daily struggle in residential units

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Daunting: Aoife Kiernan is an interim director of nursing at a nursing home.
Photo: Steve Humphreys

Daunting: Aoife Kiernan is an interim director of nursing at a nursing home. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Daunting: Aoife Kiernan is an interim director of nursing at a nursing home. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Every time Aoife Kiernan starts a shift, the battle begins. She puts on a set of gloves first, then another set on top of those. Next, over her mouth and nose, she carefully attaches a FFP2 mask, a special grade respirator that filters airborne particles.

A full-length protective gown is next to go on over her clothes, followed by an apron, a hair net and, finally, a face visor.

Ready and armed, the 26-year-old takes a deep breath, opens the door, and steps on to the frontline.


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