As the third national lockdown continues, Norwich City are highlighting the efforts of key NHS workers as they continue their hard work during the pandemic.
Laura is a paramedic with the East of England Ambulance Service (EEAST), having worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic.
Showing enormous resilience throughout the lockdown to continue providing an excellent service to patients, we spoke to Laura about her experience.
She said, “I’m a paramedic working in the ambulance service and I work on the ambulances mostly, but I also work on the cycle response unit in the city centre. We do up to 12-hour shifts, which I’ve been doing for about 16 years!
“It has [the pandemic] certainly added extra pressure, we’ve always been a pressurised resource anyway, but it’s just added more impact in having to wear PPE, which is something we did quite rarely prior to COVID-19.
“It adds an extra element into your working day, having to wear PPE all day and taking extra precautions with every patient we see. At the very beginning, we weren’t very sure if the patients we were attending did have the virus.
“Now there’s much more testing going on, most of the time we do have some information to let us know if the patient is positive or not, but in the beginning we didn’t know. It was all very scary at the time because we weren’t sure what we were up against and it was all very unknown at that time, how the virus would present and how unwell each patient would be.”
Having worked on the frontline throughout the pandemic, Laura emphasised the importance of following government guidelines and continuing to stay home.
“I think everyone has got a part to play, we’re in our third lockdown so we’re all used to it now. Everyone should have a better understanding of how to look after themselves and where to get information on things like mental health and wellbeing.
“It’s really important that everyone stays home, looks after themselves and their loved ones and do their best to keep their wellbeing in a positive place.”
Speaking on the gestures of appreciation shown for the NHS and its workers throughout the pandemic, Laura says it’s ‘humbling’, but would like to see people sticking to the rules and getting through to the end of the pandemic.
“At the beginning of the first lockdown, everyone started clapping for carers and the NHS, it was really humbling.
“Obviously, we weren’t the only people out there, although it was targeted at the NHS in the very beginning, there are a lot of key workers putting in an awful lot of effort in all sorts of different working situations. The rainbow pictures were also nice to see, especially when we were out and about working.
“Whenever people do things for us now, we’re still very thankful, but I think now people need to really focus on themselves and the future, getting through to the other side of this pandemic.
“I think that’s the key message now, if everyone can stick to the rules and stay at home, that is the most important thing to us and that’s what we would like to see.”