OC on NHS Frontline

Isabella Stevens-Harris (F12) is a Foundation Year 2 Doctor at a hospital in Derby

Isabella describes what her life has been like on the front-line:

"During COVID-19, I have been working on the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at the Royal Hospital in Derby. Life at the hospital during the pandemic has been a lot different and more challenging to normal. In NICU, and many other areas of the hospital, an already stressful job has been made much harder. In NICU we look after the youngest and most vulnerable babies who are often very premature. As well as continuing with our daily activities our workload has increased, both with the number of unwell babies we see, as well as the protective equipment we have to wear to carry out these jobs. 

With COVID-19, we have been pushed to the limits with our capacity as a result of having to isolate babies who have or are suspected to have COVID-19. This has left us, and many other neonatal units in the region, short of available beds for other sick or preterm babies. As well as this, we are required to wear PPE for all procedures and all deliveries attended, which means jobs, procedures and operations are taking longer than normal. For us, this has also made attending emergencies in deliveries difficult as we have to take extra time to “don” the necessary protective gear meaning its taking longer for us to get to the babies who need our help. 

COVID-19 has also meant many members of staff having to self isolate or shield. This has lead to us working extra hours to cover these meaning less down time to recover. Despite this though, everyone all over the hospital has pulled together to support each other and the environment has been great to work in"

Well done Issy. Keep up the fantastic work!