I wrote this tribute to the NHS in September 2019. Ironically COVID-19 was just around the corner, so I cannot begin to imagine what drama has kicked off in ‘Resus’ facilities globally since then.  So my ‘appreciation’ of healthcare workers everywhere, has never been more heartfelt.

I am an avid follower of 24 Hours in A&E on TV and, by September 2019, I had become emotionally attached to the stars of ‘the show’. The A&E staff of Kings College Hospital, which included the calm Sister Jen and the babyfaced Dr Matt – just two of the individuals who inspired me to write this.

I became so engrossed in their daily working lives, I had to keep reminding myself that this was not a well-scripted hospital drama, but real life.

As you and I prepared to face another day in Lockdown, health care doctors and nurses around the world were faced with saving the lives of those who had succumbed to the deadly disease we were all shielding from.

What they have done, so far, on a global scale, throughout this Coronavirus Pandemic, is difficult to put into words.  Healthcare workers put themselves on the frontline as a ferocious wave of this deadly virus washed its way around the world.  Some came out of retirement to help with the fight. Putting their lives at risk for the rest of us, and too many of them have lost theirs as a result.

Courageous, yes.  Utterly selfless, yes.  Beyond reproach, certainly.  Forever in their debt, absolutely.

I wonder what went through their minds when individuals deliberately flouted the Stay at Home instruction?

Once again, here is my tribute to healthcare workers everywhere.  I am in awe of what you do.

My body is rigid, my mind is numb as I come too after a few hours of disrupted sleep and try to make some sense of my dream.  A blurred reflection of reality… my reality.

A war-zone. Bloody carnage in a civilian world.  Multiple casualties.  I have seen all there is to see. Dismembered limbs, puncture wounds, bullet wounds, horrific burns and fatalities; children too.

It’s been a brutal few months, but I cannot allow a hint of self-doubt to slip through a chink in my steely mental armour.  The passion and drive I have for what I do will never waiver

I am the paradigm of an A&E nurse. I am the one that is chosen but would volunteer to shepherd young nurses through their first few days and weeks in A&E.

The unflappable Sister Jen

I am bombproof; unflappable. Nothing fazes me anymore.

The red phone rings and the words trauma in 10, fuels my fire. The opportunity to save precious lives.  It is what I was born to do. I expect the worst possible scenario and deal with it as part of a team. We are all trained to save lives.

I am always calm and composed in extreme circumstances.  I keep my cool when the Saturday night drunks are wheeled through the door, hurling verbal abuse.

I am there for the patient, whatever the circumstances.  The traumatised, the terrified, the broken and the bleeding, some whose lives will never be the same again.

I comfort, calm and hold their hands when, for whatever reason, their loved ones can’t be there.

A&E is my life, and my shift starts again in an hour.

My brain overrides any hint of self-doubt and negativity.

The babyfaced Dr Matt

My body stirs.

This is what I do.  

I save lives.  

And today is no different from any other.