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Queen Mary law student returns to nursing to help in the battle against coronavirus

Before joining Queen Mary to study law, Megan Evers completed a year’s Nursing Apprenticeship and worked as a healthcare assistant. She recently chose to return to the front line to help out during the Covid-19 pandemic.


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Here, Megan shares her experience of returning to nursing as she joins NHS teams at Addenbrooke’s Hospital since returning home.

What’s it like working at Addenbrooke’s right now?

I’m a staff member who works across the hospital in whichever team I’m needed. Even during the pandemic I’m still welcomed into a new team with a smiley face at the beginning of every shift.

The use of a traffic light system for allocating patients to wards has worked really well; green being non-COVID areas and red being COVID or critical care. It certainly feels like organised chaos!

Due to how often we have to change our PPE, the shortage still remains a concern. However, the local community has supported us in donating scrubs and other vital protective gear, such as visors, to make up for our shortages.

Just like any other member of the public, it feels unnatural being conscious of how close I am to other members of staff when walking to work or along the corridors. Nevertheless, I’ve honestly been impressed with how well the NHS has adapted to the current situation and the level of support there is for families, patients and staff.

What does a typical day look like for you?

As someone who prefers working at night, my shift revolves around general patient care. Having the flexibility to work across the hospital, I’ve experienced both spectrums of the virus. For stable patients, this might involve helping them to the toilet, making a cup of tea or simply taking their observations. In high risk areas, such as critical care, there’s an emphasis on mouth care and rolling the patient to make sure they don’t get any pressure ulcers. Ultimately, I see my role as supportive of both the nurse and the patient.

What’s it like going back to nursing and returning to the NHS?

Undoubtedly, things have changed; coming to work in your own clothes, the patient to staff ratio and even free parking (definitely a plus!). Yet, what hasn’t changed is why I choose to support such an amazing institution.

Even though I converted to a law degree after spending a year working as a healthcare assistant, I knew that regardless of my forthcoming exams, coming back to the NHS was always going to be the right thing to do. Truly, it wasn’t even a question.

There is something addictive about the sense of purpose and fulfilment one can get from giving back to their local community or easing somebody’s pain. It’s an honour to meet so many people from different backgrounds and to listen to their stories. Even though policies might have changed and we are putting ourselves at risk every time we arrive to start a shift, it still feels like home to me.

Does having a nursing background and now studying law give you a different perspective on the crisis?

Since returning to the NHS, even when reading the news, I have massively detached in viewing the crisis from a legal perspective. Whilst statistics can provide numerical data, in such a harrowing environment this doesn’t help when telling a family that their relative isn’t strong enough to fight Covid-19 or holding that patient’s hand in their last breath. With so much uncertainty, I don’t choose to formulate a perspective. I’m taking each day as it comes and simply trying to share my compassion with those who are continuing to fight such a horrific virus.

What can people do to help during the coronavirus crisis?

Lockdown is for our own safety, but don’t forget to take care of your mental and physical wellbeing too. Helping a vulnerable person in your local community might give you the boost you need to remain patient with the social distancing guidelines. However, if being with your own thoughts does become too much, please don’t be afraid to reach out for support. To those in hospital, if I look scary with all my PPE on, I promise I’m smiling underneath my mask. Also, to those who are worried about loved ones, whilst you may not be there to hold their hand or to say goodbye, they are not alone.

What have you learnt from this experience?

No matter how people show their gratitude, the nation has never been prouder of the NHS. With the unimaginable situation we have found ourselves in, the one thing this pandemic has inspired is a sense of community. Too often, we can become consumed by negative press but the random acts of kindness we witness on a daily basis have certainly restored my faith in humanity. I hope that after this pandemic, the nation continues to appreciate the invaluable role that healthcare workers contribute to society; prioritising you and your loved ones over themselves and the time they could be spending with their family. Most importantly, keep your loved ones close as no one can grant you more time.

What are your hobbies in your spare time?

I’m a keen runner and, until recently, I was training to run in the London Marathon. The marathon has been postponed until October as a result of the pandemic. Being someone who is passionate about helping others, I chose to run for a charity called VICTA. They empower children with visual impairments to make a difference to their own lives.


If you wish to donate, Megan’s sponsorship page can be found here

We are incredibly proud of the work that members of the Queen Mary community have done to help during the coronavirus pandemic, including those who have newly qualified as doctors and have joined front line teams at the Royal London Hospital.

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