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Year of the Nurse and Midwife - Our November Feature

6th November 2020

Our November Year of the Nurse and Midwife feature is Aster Calma. Aster is a Staff Nurse on Nicholls ward who recently stepped up and had a huge role change due to Covid-19. We asked Aster some questions…

How long have you been at St George’s and what do you love about it?
This month marks my third year in the UK and in St George's. One thing I especially love about working in the trust is the diversity of people I come across with, colleague and patients included. Even back when I just started working here, I never felt that I didn't belong. I do feel that its diversity is one of St George's Hospital's strengths. I am also lucky to be working with a very lovely team in Nicholls Ward. Everyone there is supportive of each other and the team always tries to work through the challenges that it's been facing.

What does nursing/midwifery mean to you?
Nursing to me, especially paediatric nursing, is helping patients and families do the things they couldn't do for themselves and supporting them as they get back to their feet. I consider it a privilege to be there with the families in what could be the worst time of their lives. It's always gratifying to see our patients improve and go back to their best selves. You'd be amazed just how resilient and brave kids can be. They are a source of inspiration to me.

How has Covid-19 affected your role?
During the peak of Covid cases, our ward was one of the areas closed off and us staff were having to go to different areas to help out. As the adult ICUs were getting overwhelmed and were sending out calls for help, I thought I'd sign up and join them temporarily. This was very daunting for me as I have minimal adult nursing experience and no ICU experience. It all turned out well in the end because the teams in the adult ICUs were amazing and were very patient with us ward nurses. I learned a lot during my time there and it felt good being part of a hardworking team made up of people from all sorts of areas of the hospital. I am now back to my home unit but I don't think I'll forget my experience working with the adult ICU team, brief though it may be.

How has St George's Hospital Charity had an impact on your role?
St George's Hospital Charity helps not only take care of our patients but also take care of ourselves. One thing I didn't have to worry about during the peak of Covid cases was what to eat during my shifts as warm meals were always provided for us every shift, sometimes even several times during the day. We never ran out of food and treats! I also appreciated the care packages sent to us like hand moisturizers and lotions. In terms of patient care, the iPads provided helped me connect my patients to their loved ones who were not allowed to visit them due to the pandemic. It's actually the little things that make a huge difference that I'm very thankful for.

Aster, you have made such a difference at St George’s which we are so grateful for.






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