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Chronicle from the trenches: a United Kingdom nurse recounts her day to day
Juanita Nittla, 42, Chief of Nurses of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the Royal Dree University Hospital in London in the United Kingdom and who works for the National Service of British Health 16 years ago recounts her days as a nurse since this Pandemia began. The nurse reports that starting the pandemic of graduates to the hospital some recovered, now the panorama is not encouraging, since those who enter 95% no longer come out.
The situation that English hospitals are going through in this crisis forces health professionals to disconnect automatic respirators to give entry and treatment to patients who arrive;This decision is boiled with sadness in a council of the Intensive Care Unit by specialized medical equipment after a meticulous assessment that includes age, conditions, previous medical and possibility of recovery.
Juanita Nittla recounts one of the many occasions in which she has had to carry out this procedure that for her is something very traumatic and painful at the emotional level and adds with condolences: sometimes I feel that I am in a certain way responsible for the death of thatperson.
The nurse narrates sobbing occasionally: one of the most cruel situations that I have lived as a nurse, was to end the treatment of a Covid-19 patient, a 50-year nurse from a health center. I told the woman’s daughter to communicate. I guaranteed that his mother was not suffering and that he seemed to be calm. I also asked him about his last wishes and the religious needs of this. Being in a compartment with more beds I closed the curtains and turned off the alarms. We made a deep silence as a sign of respect because the dignity and calm of our patients is our priority.
I called the woman’s daughter on the phone so she could say goodbye to her mother. For me it was just a call, but for the family it was something very important. They wanted to make a video call, but unfortunately they are not allowed mobiles within the ICU. My heart broke. Complying with family requests play music from a computer and disconnected the fan. I sat next to him in the bed shaking his hand until he died. Then, I disconnected the roads that supplied the sedation medications, I took the speaker and communicated to the daughter of the deceased she had already left because I continued talking and praying through the phone.
After this, says the nurse, her work still does not end, because they clean, wrap and deposit the bodies in a bag of bodies. The nurse indicates that the hospital expanded beds from unit 34 to 60 and that today a nurse serves 3 patients;The Intensive Care Unit has 175 nurses.
Among their coworkers are that they are afraid to get infected, that they cannot sleep, that they have nightmares and all of them, Narra is a hero, before the turn begins, we grab our hands and tell ourselves. We monitor each other and make sure that each one uses gloves, masks and the protection team properly.