DURING the current coronavirus crisis, many people have stepped forward to help the NHS in its daily battle against the pandemic.

One of them is Rebecca Charlton, a nurse for Dorset and Wiltshire children’s hospice charity Julia’s House who had previously worked in emergency departments for 13 years.

Having left emergency hospital care three months before the Covid-19 pandemic, Rebecca has returned to a local NHS hospital ED to help with the increase demand on the NHS.

Rebecca said: “I had a conversation with the team at Julia’s House and felt that I would be most useful returning to the NHS as I had only been with them for a short time. Being a nurse, I like to feel useful and that I am helping as much as I can.

“It was a difficult decision to leave, I was starting to find my feet and feel settled at Julia’s House. I was feeling like part of the team and I think it is always a difficult decision to go back after making a decision to leave somewhere.

“I felt like my skills and knowledge were best placed to return and work alongside my NHS colleagues and friends in the emergency department at such a crucial time.”

Rebecca says that a lot has changed in the short time she has not been working in hospitals.

She added: “To start with, I found things difficult as all the systems and ways of working had changed since I was last there. Now however, things change on a daily basis and we have all learnt to be flexible and adapt to changes as and when required.

“Adapting to working whilst wearing PPE has been challenging, a lot of communication is non-verbal and wearing face coverings can be a barrier to this.

“Also, trying to make patients feel reassured is difficult when you are wearing gloves and unable to provide comfort as you would do normally."

Although she worries about contracting the virus and spreading it to her family, Rebecca says the comradery that has been displayed and the support shown from the public through donations and the weekly Clap For Carers keeps her motivated.

“Several of my colleagues have also returned to the ED from other areas and I feel that this has helped us with teamwork and spirit. It’s rewarding to feel that you are making a difference,” said Rebecca.

She added: “We all work well together as a team throughout the ED and the hospital as a whole. It feels very much that we are all in this together.

“I feel well supported by both the ED and Julia’s House - they are in regular contact to see how I am doing.”