6 April 2020
24th March marked World TB Day and my thought around this was the inevitable impact on increased rates of TB globally within the next few years as the focus during the last few months globally has inevitably shifted to focus on the pandemic. However, the terms isolation and contact tracing are very familiar to all of us working in TB as we ask many of our patients to do this and suffer the consequences of it on a regular basis.
I have thought about the impact on nurses and midwives throughout this. Never did I imagine that the year of the Nurse would include playing a huge roll in a pandemic. The pandemic has led to nurses all around the country, and I’m sure around the world, being redeployed to work in areas they haven’t practiced in for many years. I live with two other nurses and we have all worked at some point in our careers in ITU so we are all undertaking refresher training courses over the next couple of weeks to get us back to working on an ITU. This makes me reflect on the documents I have read whilst working with THET, particularly the Triple Impact Report on the importance of making nurses work at the top of their competence and utilising their person-centred and humanitarian values
One of my colleagues who is not able to move to critical care due to her own health condition will over the coming weeks and months be making welfare calls to patients that our service looks after to offer support and reassurance as patients are asked to manage their medication and TB disease without the usual level of interaction that they have with my team.
Over the last couple of weeks, my wider networks of colleagues have been part of the movement of people that have put a roof over the heads of some of London’s homeless. Working in TB we look after some of our society’s most marginalised and vulnerable people and this is even more critical at a time like this. But more than anything, it has shown the variety of roles that a nurse can play within society.