Laura Pinas

BSc Nursing Studies 2014

Critical Care Practitioner at Forth Valley Royal Hospital

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Tell us in more detail what your role entails, what challenges you currently face, and how you are finding ways to cope.

I provide a mixture of skilled intensive care roles and high dependency role, from looking after ventilated and sedated patients to giving education after life-saving operations.

As a team, we look after individuals who have incurred organ failure, either through trauma or long-term conditions. 

We also look after post-operative individuals who require cardiovascular support. My role is very nurse led through protocols that have been developed in the ICU and often include quick, evidence based decision making. I pride myself in supporting individuals and families through end of life care.  

At present our challenges are having the resources we need to carry out our basic roles. Lack of medications, lack of working ventilators and parts, and unfortunately a lack of PPE. Another worry is having the lack of staff to maintain the current 1:1 ratio. I fear that I will not be able to provide the high standard of care that I strive to give. 

I worry that we will not be able to provide the support to families whilst their loved ones are dying, that people will die alone. 

At present I am coping by taking every day at a time, every shift at a time. Deep breathing exercises have helped at home and meditating have helped clear my mind of anxious thoughts. Switching off the news and coming away from social media to read takes my mind off the outside world. Being a mum of 2, home life luckily distracts me from what lies ahead!

Do you have a top tip for coping at a time of crisis? Or a few words of advice or support for fellow students and alumni on the front line?

My advice to anyone is to stay safe, follow the guidelines set out by the government, and to seek support from colleuges if you are struggling. And wash your hands! 

We don't know what the future have holds at the moment, but I do know that we can all be proud of our roles throughout this hardship. Support each other and it's ok to cry and be scared, this is an unprecedented situation. Be kind to each other. 

I am still very privileged to have studied at GCU and all the long-life friends I have made there. 

 Thank you and stay safe.

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