kirsty | Guidance on Care Homes

“As the manager I felt I had to be strong”

“There were moments during the pandemic where I’d also broken down in tears and didn’t think I could do this job anymore.  

“During hard times, many health and care professionals just want to talk with colleagues who are going through the same things they are – someone who understands what it’s like. As the manager, I felt like I had to be strong.”

These are the reflections of Kirsty Cartin, a care home nurse manager, published by the Nursing & Midwifery Council as part of yesterday’s National Day of Reflection on COVID.

Kirsty continues: “Shortly after the outbreak of the pandemic, in around April 2020, I comforted a young carer who’d become upset and overwhelmed. It resonated with me because it was during a time when Covid-19 was at its peak and life as we knew it had changed. Everything was an unknown.

“We were trying our best to protect our residents. But we also felt like we were being unkind to them because they weren’t allowed to spend time with each other or with their loved ones.

“We look after residents with dementia and they didn’t understand why they had to isolate. Many of them would forget to stay in their rooms, so we were constantly on the move, checking on them and worrying about their safety. It was emotionally and physically draining.”

Publishing her story, the NMC says: “The whole of the UK has been reminded how important nursing and midwifery professionals are. Their expertise and kindness make such a difference to people’s health and wellbeing.

“We’d like to say ‘thank you‘ to all current and future nurses, midwives and nursing associates – including those on our Covid-19 temporary register – for everything they’ve achieved over the past year.”

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