Submitted by Kayleigh, Senior Physiotherapist
We were fortunate that ahead of the surge at the beginning of the 2021, redeployed staff were able to cover some of our usual caseload on the wards, so we were able to invest all of our time into the ever expanding Critical Care. What initially felt like a very daunting place to be, soon became a complete united front across all professions, and our team were able to work seamlessly with the nursing staff to provide therapeutic intervention where needed.
During the peak, I understood that due to the increase in Critical Care patients and bed pressures, the department had difficulty sourcing staff for the night shifts. My line manager and the nursing team were incredibly supportive and grateful when I offered to help cover these. Because of the knowledge we already have in working with ventilated patients, managing tracheostomies and quickly deteriorating chests, I felt I could utilise my skills by helping overnight.
Whilst there are many aspects of the nursing role which fall outside of my scope of practice, the ITU practice educators were able to train me up at short notice so I was able to further help.
The quiet resilience of all of the Critical Care staff working under such high-pressured circumstances is something that has really inspired me, and I am so grateful and proud to have been not only part of the Physiotherapy team, but a small part of Critical Care.