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COVID-19 and Me 2021 Update: Amy Whitebrook

Released on - 09/02/2021

COVID-19 and Me 2021 Update: Amy Whitebrook

COVID-19 and Me 2021 Update: Amy Whitebrook

My name is Amy Whitebrook. When the first Covid-19 wave hit, I was a second-year student, and my studies were suspended. 

I used the time to keep my knowledge up to date by reading journals and policy updates. I wanted to be as well informed as possible when I went back into practice, and in hindsight it has really helped my transition back into working life! Hence, this would be my advice for first and second-year students who are currently on study leave. 

I am now a third-year student (due to qualify in just a couple of months) and this time I’ve stayed in my clinical placement. At my hospital, first and second-year students have had their placements suspended but third years have been able to continue. This has been imperative for me in keeping up my skills and boosting my confidence in my abilities. I think in times of need people pull together. In theatre, where we are constantly having to adapt to the issues the pandemic is causing, this has made my contribution to the team feel valued.

On my return, I was very anxious about how the role I loved would have changed. Almost instantly, I was relived to find I still felt the same about the work and enjoyed my days just as much as I did pre-coronavirus. I feel a great amount of empathy for our patients who spend their stays in hospital without family visits and I keep this at the forefront of my mind when I welcome them into the department. 

Initially it was the PPE that was my greatest bugbear. I thought I‘d never get used to the respirator and visor, but somehow even this has very quickly become normality. 

Now that most elective surgery has been cancelled, I’m spending more time in emergency theatres. This means things can change in an instant, but that has given me the opportunity to use a vast array of the skills that I’ve learnt over the past few years.

More than anything, working in the hospital this time has inspired me. Seeing the dedication of my qualified colleagues is amazing. The resolve and resilience of those who have been redeployed to ICU or to vaccinate the public, and the way that people are going above and beyond in theatres. I am now more dedicated than ever to qualify on time and be able to contribute my efforts towards fighting the pandemic!

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