International Nurse’s Day: My COVID-19 experience, so far… (Australia)

Jane Treloggen and DR vaccinationWho would have thought that in the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and on International Nurse’s Day, that the crucial role of nurses would have been so front and centre!  

As an ICU nurse away from the bedside for 9 years this period has been challenging and pride inducing. Whilst the ventilation skills haven’t been required (yet) due to the incidence of the virus in Australia, this Tissue Bank manager has had the unique opportunity like many in health, of learning how to juggle the operational, safety and physiological needs of a team and Service whilst taking on new tasks. I have had the privilege of supporting the District Infection Prevention & Control practitioners as they planned and embedded protocols and dealt with the almost overwhelming amount of information that was constantly being updated. The personal challenge was to orientate to a speciality with a whole new set of acronyms; to keep up; and to work out how I could value add without being a hindrance. 

Whilst the pandemic response was being rolled out, the vaccination programme for the influenza season was commenced for health workers.  I got back “on the tools” to help with the programme for staff at the Sydney/Sydney Eye Hospital which also proved to be an opportunity to address COVID-19 related concerns held by some staff. For me this was a time of clarity and sanity – an IM injection and a chat held amidst the craziness of the pandemic! 

Jane Treloggen is a nurse and eye bank manager in Sydney.