"I am the consultant nurse for MSK chronic pain, based at Queen Mary's in Sidcup. I care for patients with complex pain conditions with associated mental health and anxiety disorders. In response to COVID-19, I was redeployed to the PRUH intensive care unit (ICU).
"This new role has been very different to my usual job. I have been one of the many support nurses who have been helping the ICU staff to care for the large number of patients with COVID-19 in recent weeks. I was an ICU nurse 25 years ago, so thought I would be a little bit prepared for returning to this environment, although I knew I would be rusty.
"Managing COVID-19 patients on the ICU has been very complex, challenging and so busy. It has been hard and stressful trying to manage so many sick patients in difficult conditions whilst wearing full PPE. Going back to shift work has taken a lot of adjustment, especially doing nights after so many years. However, throughout all of this the ICU staff have been amazing. They have been supportive and welcoming; it made a huge difference knowing they were all there to help nurses like me into this new role.
"Being re-deployed has had a huge impact on my home life. I moved out of my home and left my family behind. This was because I have a family member who has a medical condition that makes them very vulnerable if exposed to COVID-19. Since I started on the ICU five weeks ago, I have been living in a hotel in Bromley. It has been so hard being separated from my family all this time and we have all had to adjust to this new way of life. We use FaceTime every day to ensure we keep in contact and that at least enables me to catch up with their lives day-to-day whilst doing this new role."