Women of the NHS fighting on Britain's COVID frontline
After a year that has shaken Britain's National Health Service to its core, women working at a hospital in the East Lancashire NHS Trust in England's northwest talk about what the coronavirus crisis has meant to them. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Maxine Sharples, 36, a Paramedic for North West NHS Ambulance service: "We’ve been to hell and back. Every member of the NHS has I think. It does finally feel like there is light at the end of the tunnel." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Sheeba Philip, 44, a Stroke Nurse Consultant: "During Covid I lost my mum as well. And when she was in those last moments of her life, it was very difficult for me to step into the two roles. I knew as a nurse what I should be doing, that end of time...more
Jacqui Jocelyn, 53, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) Nurse: "We’re worried what it's going to be like after, actually, for the nurses, because it's been quite traumatic seeing the things we’ve seen on the unit." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Priscilla Manuel, 44, a Matron: "The staff were not prepared for that many and that many sudden deaths despite the treatment, care we gave. Because nursing, nurses and doctors they come in because we want to serve and care, and we want to make people...more
Michaela Gildley-Taylor, 31, a Staff Nurse: "It’s been hard on us at home. We can’t see our own families but we’re there for other people's families. Yeah, it’s definitely going to stay with us forever." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Dulcie Burrows, 52, a Head Chef: "We’ve had a few little end-of-life requests. It might just be a bacon sandwich. It might be some chips at the wrong time of day. But if we can do it, we’ll do it. You know, that’s what’s important. Just giving...more
Ellie Pearson, 24, a Physiotherapist: "You don’t expect someone the same age as your dad to not be able to stand up and walk without getting really out of breath and not coping, you know, people who are still working full time. I think that’s the bit...more
Zebun Nissa, 42, a Doctor: "Having the second wave of pandemic didn’t really stop me from joining (the NHS) because I understood that I could contribute, I could help, so I wanted to do that." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Lisa McMullin, 50, a Patient Services Assistant: "Your feet ache, your legs ache. At the end of every shift you're sometimes absolutely drained but you get better and come back to work and carry on." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Kirsty Wilkinson, 33, a Healthcare Assistant: "It’s a real privilege really, to be with them (people dying) and you remember everybody. Each and every single person." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Ruth Clarke, 36, a student nurse: "It’s learning how to make them feel like you’re still the same person even though they can’t see your facial expressions and we’re not able to touch and use those human interactions like we’re used to."...more
Mez Bagas, 38, a Ward Manager: "I couldn’t have asked for a more dedicated team. Yes, there have been times when we’ve cried, but there have also been times when we’ve laughed, when we’ve joked. We’ve got through this with humor, we’ve got through...more
Gillian Parker-Evans, 56, a Midwife: "All midwives are there to be with women, and that’s what ‘midwife’ means - it means ‘be with woman’. So we’re always there as a support even though we’re a professional. We’re also there for the women to make...more
Maxine Sharples, 36, a Paramedic: "As soon as I get home I shut the door and I’m back to being a mum and a wife, and I just have to play that role until I go back to work again." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Mable Ng, 25, a Pharmacist: "Personally, I feel this year is a very special year and a very stressful year. Because of these trials in the pandemic I actually feel that it has built a stronger foundation to my career. Especially for the future."...more
Georgina Robertson, 46, an Accident & Emergency (A&E) Consultant: "The numbers have been the highest, the patients have been the sickest. And alongside that, we’ve had to struggle with staff shortages at levels that we’ve never seen before."...more
Rahila Dusu, 33, a Junior Doctor: "You’re scared. People are dying. It was tough but it's been a great learning curve for me as well. There’s a lot I will take forward. The toughness, but also not being afraid, it takes that away from you, you feel a...more
Charlotte Dugale, 41, a Consultant Orthodontist: "As a team actually it's pulled us together. We’ve realized how much, not only on a professional level, that we rely on each other, but also on a personal level and having that level of trust and...more
Ruby Jocelyn, 19, a Student Nurse: "I became a nurse because of my mum. I began critical care nursing because I knew help was needed." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Voirrey Quilliam, 25, a Speech and Language Therapist: "Being able to see facial expressions, being able to show non-verbal communications to our patients to get the best from them has really been a challenging factor." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
Marie Hudson, 61, a housekeeper: "They looked after us, we got free meals. Loads of stuff coming in every day for us from hand creams to toffees, you name it. We were getting all sorts, so I felt very much appreciated." REUTERS/Hannah McKay
A combination picture shows details of uniforms and PPE worn by East Lancashire NHS Trust healthcare workers. REUTERS/Hannah McKay
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The coronavirus has completely changed how we do just about everything.