Inside a hospital ED during a pandemic
ASHLEIGH Woods will never forget the first time she had to help a doctor insert an endotracheal tube into a patient's lungs so they could breathe.
"It's pretty intense," she said.
"We got through it and I was finishing at 9.30, I stepped outside and just burst into tears because I was so overwhelmed.
"You have to concentrate the whole time and you're in the zone and you block all of your feelings and then you walk out and go 'oh my god, that was so intense'. That's why debriefing is important."
These days it's all par for the course for the 25-year-old Southern Cross University graduate, who is now a registered nurse and midwife at The Tweed Hospital.
Accredited in advanced life support, Ms Woods has just begun working in an airway role in the resuscitation room in the emergency department.
The resuscitation teams include a doctor, nurse, someone dedicated to the patient's airway, someone looking after their circulation and a team leader.
"We all work in emergency and we all love trauma care, you kind of have to be into that to be able to cope," she said.
"It's not that scary because that's what we enjoy doing, we enjoy helping."
Ms Woods is just one of the many nurses and other staff braving the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic.
During shifts in the fever clinic the nurses, including Ms Woods, wear multiple pieces of PPE.
"When taking the Personal Protective Equipment off, you have to wash your hands continuously," she said.
"You have to wash your hands between each piece of PPE you remove."
Applications are open for mid-year entry to the Bachelor of Nursing, starting in June. Visit www.scu.edu.au.