On International Nurses Day we’re shining a light on some of our wonderful nurses and the work they’re doing to support and care for people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Like other health workers across the country, our nurses have been at the heart of the frontline response to COVID-19, with many redeployed from their usual roles.
One of those nurses is Dave McAuley. Dave is one of Livewell’s Transformation Programme Leads and before the COVID outbreak, was supporting the organisation’s work to bring mental health services closer to people’s homes and communities. But by background, Dave is a registered mental health nurse. He knew he wanted to support his colleagues on the frontline and since March, he has temporarily left his role behind to work as a mental health nurse on one of Livewell’s inpatient unit for the first time since 1997!
Dave has been getting to grips with life back on the wards at Livewell’s Lee Mill Unit which provides personalised care and treatment to men experiencing complex, long-standing mental health problems and supports them with their recovery.
On International Nurses Day, Dave shares his experience so far:
At the outset of the COVID-19 outbreak I offered to support the Lee Mill team.
The unit was not unfamiliar to me; I have had managerial responsibility for the service and worked regular shifts on the unit while in that role. That didn’t prepare me however, for having to work clinically as a nurse again.
There are a number of adjectives that could be used to describe how I felt on my first day; daunted, trepidation, fear and uncertainty. I was also aware of the potential expectation of others in that they might expect me to be able to ‘hit the ground running’ immediately. From my perspective, it felt like learning a new job and I was totally dependent on the support, guidance, help and goodwill of my colleagues.
I immediately set myself a number of learning objectives so that I could quickly become competent in functioning as a nurse and running a shift. The first priority was to undertake some basic training, so that I was safe to practice.
The last time I worked in a clinical setting was pre-electronic records, so I had to learn how to use the system. I undertook some training so that I was able to navigate and record clinical records.
One of my overriding reflections has been how inspiring it has been working with such a committed team. I haven’t worked with anyone who isn’t motivated, dedicated and compassionate.
Each day, staff go the extra mile to support service users at Lee Mill and improve their experiences which makes a big difference to their day to day quality of life.
I would like to thank all my colleagues at Lee Mill for their support, help, understanding and tolerance.
I am so proud to be a nurse and proud to be supporting my colleagues on the frontline during COVID-19 and particularly on International Nurses Day.