She didn't spare a moment to think. When her friend told her about the "Nurses in Reserve" initiative, Markéta Hausnerová, an actress from the Municipal Theater in Most, immediately knew that she would put on a white uniform again. Although she'd last worked in healthcare more than seven years ago, she took helping and reinforcement the medical staff almost as her duty. LP-life.cz managed to ask Markéta a few questions and find out what it's like to voluntarily fight in the front line.
They are everywhere you look. Volunteers that help seniors with shopping for essential food and medicine or sewing face masks on a daily basis. Medical students that fight in the front lines in hospitals. And it's not just the medics joining the ranks; qualified ex-nurses who'd changed profession in the course of their lives also returned. Just like the actress Markéta Hausnerová. When the government closed theaters to combat the spread of the coronavirus, she didn't want to just sit at home waiting. Therefore she joined the "Nurses in Reserve" association, which had been founded a little over three weeks ago.
"I admit that only after registration did I start thinking about how long I hadn't actually worked in healthcare. Over time, I began to feel anxious and nervous, but now I'm very glad I decided to give it a try,"
Markéta said for LP-life.cz.
As soon as the second day after completing the questionnaire, she was contacted by the University Hospital Královské Vinohrady, where she was offered a job in three departments. Markéta chose to help out at the otorhinolaryngology clinic.
"Since I didn't have much experience, I decided to go to the ENT, because the crucial thing at central admission is speed. I refused to go to the infectious disease ward, as I didn't want to jeopardize the operation of the theater in case I got infected,"
Markéta continued. Naturally, fears began to plague her before her first shift in the hospital.
"I wasn't afraid of contracting the disease and I'm certainly not afraid of it now, because work in healthcare is always a high-risk occupation. Rather than that, I was afraid because I'd never actually tried making a living as a nurse; I'd mostly performed the job as part of my practical training under the supervision of experienced instructors. This field evolves rapidly; it's constantly moving forward, so my fear was mainly the result of uncertainty whether I'd be able to help. "
Markéta continued, adding that fortunately she has an excellent team of people around her at work, who are ready to give her advice at any time.
Seek hospital care only in case of emergency!
Markéta's working day starts shortly before seven o'clock in the morning; she says that the first patients start pouring in shortly after half past seven. However, the hospital mainly serves to treat acute cases, which, according to Markéta, many people seem to have forgotten.
"Unfortunately, people often fail to realize that their health problem is not acute. It happens way too often that many patients fail to use the services of their outpatient clinic and go directly to the hospital,"
Due to COVID-19, the risk of infection is greater in hospitals, where there is a higher concentration of patients together. When people come to the hospital, they are at greater risk of infection and for the doctors and nurses, it's more difficult to treat the patients.
"Some patients have to be treated as potentially infected when entering the hospital, so we use more disposable hygiene aids, including goggles and shields,"
And what would she like to say to other qualified ex-nurses who are thinking of joining the project?
"Firstly and foremostly, don‘t be afraid. The first step is always uncertain, but that goes for every job, whether in the field or outside of it. The nurses will be very happy to have you there and you‘ll be a great support for them. Even if you think you have forgotten all your knowledge, you‘ll quickly get into it swing of things and everything will come back to you easily. All you have to do is open the right "drawer" in your head and everything will kick back in,"