Stories from the frontline: Florence Sambile

Florence tells us about her role and how PRUH Operating Theatres have adapted during the pandemic

Florence Sambile

Florence took some time out to tell us about working through the first and second surges of COVID-19 at the PRUH, the importance of never giving up, and why she now feels her role is her calling in life.

“I currently work at the PRUH in Operating Theatres, as a Senior Anaesthetic Nurse. The first wave still seems like it was just yesterday. Looking back, I think we all have adapted to the fact that the pandemic made everyone’s life abnormal.

“Following the first wave, I think we were all preparing for ourselves for something bigger to come. The emotional and physical trauma brought by the first wave was carried over into this second wave, but I think it’s lesser because we already anticipated it.

“During this second wave, we have had to deal with COVID-19 positive/pending emergency cases every day. However, I must say we got used to it quickly compared to the first wave when we were all a bit hesitant and scared.

“It’s been tricky also, as a lot of our senior members of anaesthetic staff were asked to help care for COVID-19 patients outside the theatre environment. Some of our colleagues also contracted the virus, with strain on the team, but thankfully they have all made a recovery.

Reflecting on the previous year, Florence tells us the main learning experiences “To be honest, I am still worried and scared what might happen next. The positive thing is that my theatre family continuously stands together as one. We also feel incredibly supported by the Trust with the well-being hubs and being offered the first dose of the vaccine.

“I have countless learning experiences. One thing that I learned is that this is my calling. Everything that I have experienced from the first wave up until now, I learned to look on the positive side, and take everything as one day at a time where I can still go home to my family after a full day’s work.

“If we beat COVID-19 during the first wave, we can also do it this time; just never give up, have faith, and have each other’s back to get through this difficult time. We still have a long way to go, to heal, to get our lives back but there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“One thing that strikes me during this difficult time, where the whole world has suffered so much is that we should all be grateful for each day that we have and should live life to the fullest.”