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New grads on the frontline

28 January 2022

The Permanent Nurse Pool concierge service has never been more vital with PAH opening up more wards dedicated to treating COVID-19 positive patients as the surge advanced.

With each new ‘Red Zone’ ward, came a new requirement for checking in at ward entrances alongside donning PPE and doffing on exit. 

Graduate RN, Holly Christensen said that the start of her nursing career was not what she expected but it was certainly a whole new learning experience on the job.

“On the surface it seems really boring to be the gatekeeper to a COVID ward, but you are literally responsible for ensuring compliance with infection control at the most important moment and in the middle of a pandemic that has been part of our lives for the longest time.

“It is a really big responsibility, and it has been interesting to be part of this response,” Holly said.

Graduate EN, Teclar Maringamise also said her first year out of university was shaping up to be something she never expected when deciding to be a nurse.

“As a new graduate, you are so excited to take that step into a hospital, thinking you will be doing direct care and you come here and everything is so different than you expected,” she said.

What is clear to all new graduates is the reality that every role in the hospital at this time is important, everyone has something that is their responsibility, and the vulnerability of the patient cohort requires strict adherence to protocols and guidelines that are constantly being updated.

One of the key tasks for the concierge service is ensuring that only vaccinated members of the community are entering the hospital and Teclar knows first-hand that not everybody takes the news well. 

“Some people in the community don’t understand the importance of vaccination and our role on the frontline checking their status is all about keeping our patients safe, but also our staff and their families,” she said.

“It is a very hard job being on the front entrances trying to explain to someone that they can’t visit because they are not vaccinated.  Everyone has the same requirement, it’s not personal - but certainly some people get angry about it.  It is a new set of skills though; we continue our learning.”

Last updated 28 January 2022
Last reviewed 28 January 2022

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