In the November issue, community dental nurse Michelle Williams kindly shares her pandemic experience in which she contracted coronavirus whilst redeployed.

Frightened for her life – 'I was in the thick of it and very nervous and scared every day' caring for patients who were COVID-19 positive whilst wearing only basic PPE (this was back in April) – Michelle quickly picked up what was expected of her and' just got on with the work'.

She recalls: It was very demanding and I was so tired after a shift. The staff are amazing but so underpaid – they all deserve a higher banding. I loved working and helping the patients. Many had dementia, plus other medical problems. I cried when I got home; seeing them was so overwhelming and nursing them was the least I could do. We did lose some patients to the virus and I assisted the manager putting the patient in a body bag with dignity and compassion and sitting with her while she called the family. These were very emotional times.'

But her own emotions were put to the test when she fell ill and got a test back showing she had COVID-19.

She recalls: 'I was helping to admit two new patients onto the ward when I began to feel worse. When I got home I said to my daughter and partner to stay away as I thought I could have COVID-19. I stayed in my bedroom for 14 days and nights – and I can truly say I have never experienced an illness like this before.'

Now fully recovered, and with the country today once again on the cusp of further lockdowns, she says she is determined to be on the frontline again should circumstances dictate it.

For the full story and other inspiring articles, subscribe to the journal today.

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