A north-east nurse has shared her thoughts on working through the pandemic as the world marks International Nurses Day.
Liz Towsey is a specialist cancer nurse with Macmillan, based at Haddo Medical Group in Pitmedden, and said Covid-19 has had a “really big impact” on her role.
The charity’s staff support cancer patients to live as well as possible, helping to control symptoms and offering emotional and practical assistance.
Mrs Towsey said: “We’ve had to adapt to carrying out consultations remotely and, of course, using the essential PPE if we were able to see cancer patients face-to-face.
“Patients have understandably been very worried and we’ve had a lot of additional concerns to deal with surrounding treatment plans due to Covid.
“We have always been a close-knit team of six working across Aberdeenshire, but the pandemic has made us even more aware of how we need to support each other as well as meet the needs of our patients.”
While their way of working has changed significantly over the last year, many of the new additions may be staying for longer.
“Some of the new ways of working and utilising IT will be continued, as it allows us to see patients on the screen and discuss concerns with families,” Mrs Towsey added.
“It gives us more patient contact with a reduction in travelling time, however home visits take place when appropriate.
“At the moment we are seeing a lot of patients in the later stages of diagnosis and that’s very hard for families and carers, and on top of the lack of social support from loved ones during lockdown.
“Nursing is about helping others – to give our patients the very best treatment and care, so that they can live their lives as fully as possible, whatever their prognosis.
“We want to be able to keep doing this to the best of our ability.”
This month Mrs Towsey has been going the extra mile for patients across Aberdeenshire, with six of her fellow Macmillan nurses.
Each member of the group has pledged to walk two miles every day to raise extra cash for the charity – with more than £2,000 donated so far.
Gordon McLean, strategic partnership manager for Macmillan in Scotland, said: “We are so grateful to all nurses working everywhere for the care, compassion and sheer professionalism they have shown in coping with the additional pressures brought about by the pandemic.
“At Macmillan we are doing whatever it takes to support our nurses as well as patients and the goodwill and support of the public will help us to achieve that goal.”