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02 Oct 2022

Caring at Christmas – A Day in the Life of a Frontline worker in Laois at Portlaoise hospital on Christmas Day

Emergency Department Staff Nurse urges people not to drop their guard against Covid-19

Caring at Christmas – A Day in the Life of a Frontline worker in Laois at Portlaoise hospital on Christmas Day

Hello, my name is Miriam Dube and I am a Staff Nurse in the Emergency Department (ED / A&E) of Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise.

As a Staff Nurse in a busy ED, I have responsibility for assessing and caring for patients who require medical or surgical assistance or any other emergencies. Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise provides a 24-hour Emergency Department, including paediatric services, so I care for both children and adults.

This Christmas Day, I will be caring for patients in our ED from 8am to 8:30pm. Christmas Day is special but for me it is like any other working day, people will need emergency care this day the same as any day and we are here to provide this care to our service users.

If I had one wish for Christmas, it would be to see all the patients who attend our ED go back home to their families, and continue with their Christmas celebrations.

The ED is usually quieter in the morning so the staff take this opportunity to celebrate Christmas Day with a traditional Irish breakfast. It is cooked in the kitchen and we take it in turns to go and enjoy our breakfast with Christmas music playing in the background. It is a lovely tradition that sets us up for the day ahead.

Coming to the ED, especially on Christmas Day, can be stressful for patients so we try to make their time here a little more festive. We have a Christmas tree and decorations up in the department. It is challenging during COVID times but we try and make Christmas as pleasant as possible for anyone that needs to visit us over the holidays.

If I had one wish for Christmas, it would be to see all the patients who attend our ED go back home to their families, and continue with their Christmas celebrations. I want to do the best for my patients every day of the year!

I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone not to drop your guard over the festive season and continue to follow public health advice to keep protecting yourself and others from COVID-19.

This year, as I am working over Christmas, I will cook for my family and friends on Christmas Eve and we will celebrate as a family then. We will open our presents early on Christmas morning and then my family will go to mass and I will go to work. Working on Christmas Day is a privilege to me because it is a duty which I was called for and I do wholeheartedly.

I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone not to drop your guard over the festive season and continue to follow public health advice to keep protecting yourself and others from COVID-19. Take steps to reduce your risk, take your COVID-19 booster vaccine when you are called and keep your social contacts small over the holidays to protect you and those around you.

In order to keep well this winter, visit www.hse.ie/winter. It contains lots of health information and advice from the HSE about how to take care of common illnesses and conditions, and when to get help.

From all of us at Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, we wish you and yours a healthy and Happy Christmas.

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