Carrianne’s Story: ‘People say thanks for everything you do, but I did nothing’

Carrianne and her husband are both nurses, She usually works part time doing bank shifts, he is a ward manager at a local hospital. They have two kids. 

‘This is the story of the nurse who didn’t work for six weeks during the biggest pandemic in one hundred years.

I started working again two weeks ago after six weeks of cancelled and/or lack of shifts in our local hospital. Before COVID 19, there were always so many shifts available that many would go unfilled. It was rare for there to be no shifts available. Many nurses depend on bank shifts for their total income, so it was also reliable. Our local hospital prepared for the worst case scenario. This included stopping routine/scheduled operations, and redeploying staff from closed parts; i.e. outpatients, education, research, and bringing in retired health practitioners and employing nearly graduated student nurses.

Once the country went into lock-down and it was apparent how the timing had worked for the south west, the hospital was left with more staff than patients. The wards had been cleared of patients that were fit enough to leave and be cared for elsewhere. Wards then closed and the excess staff were sent to various wards to fill what would have been the bank shifts. 


Photo by  Graham Ruttan  on  UnsplashPhoto by  Graham Ruttan  on  Unsplash

Photo by Graham Ruttan on Unsplash

Many bank staff were left with no income. I was one of the lucky ones who does bank to boost our income for the little extra luxuries, but others saw their sole source of income stop. They were not able to be furloughed and were offered to apply for permanent jobs or apply for universal credit. 

After 6 weeks the shifts are starting to pick up again and the hospital is returning to normal levels. 

My husband is a full time charge nurse and had to work much harder managing his staff sickness and adapting to covering for his manager when they were off with COVID. So my contribution to this pandemic has been supporting him and helping my children access their education and trying to remain sane in the strangest of times.

My worry for the future is the infection rate could increase again as lockdown eases and people are acting like nothing’s different. I think we have been so lucky in the south west, and I have had it very easy. People who know I’m a nurse, say thanks for everything you do, but I’ve done nothing towards this pandemic. 

The way the government has dealt with the whole thing is beyond my comprehension, they have been negligent to the general public in helping them understand this virus and how best to protect themselves and each other. I get my information and advice from other sources as the government is so slow at producing the evidence that others have been sharing for weeks. 

Their negligence has cost human lives.’


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Published by Kerry

Champion of neurodiversity. Carer. Music obsessive. Freelance writer. Music and Arts editor.

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