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Hayley Cantor, who works in the intensive therapy unit at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, said: “This has been the most traumatising thing that I’ve ever been through. It’s doing similar things to what we normally do in the job, ventilating patients, but it’s just been traumatising, it really has.
“The severity of having so many really sick patients all in at the same time, it’s scary and it’s very hard work.”
And she added: “It’s easy for people to get relaxed with the rules. It’s been going on a year now…we just need to keep going and people need to stick to what they’re doing!”
Despite the difficult situation and the hard work, Hayley stressed how much she loved her job – “ I love working on ITU, I absolutely love it” – and she praised those who had helped her and other NHS staff get through the tough times.
“The support has been amazing,” she said. “So many people have been bringing things in for us.”
That support had, she said, been reinforced from within the department and the hospital: “We are all supported by our managers and as a team we work together amazingly.”
Hayley said it was important now to focus ahead and look to ‘the light at the end of the tunnel’: “Hopefully soon we will see the numbers start dropping again and start going back to some normality.
“That’s all we want. We just need to keep going. Keep sticking to the rules. Keep reinforcing what we’re doing. And working together as a team, and hopefully we’ll get through the end of this.”
But she reminded people that it wasn’t time to relax just yet, adding that seeing the latest wave of much younger patients, aged between 25-50, had hit home to everyone, including her.
“It’s been a lot more scary and traumatising for us to see,” she went on. “It brings it home how real it is still. It’s made me ring a lot of my family members and reinforce what’s going. People need to stick to what they’re doing.
“Keep putting your mask on.
“Keep staying in.
“Keep protecting yourself and your family – because it’s not over and it’s still extremely real.”
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