Today (Tuesday 23 March 2021) marks the anniversary of the start of the country’s first national lockdown.

Lucy Shaw, who works as a Clinical Support Worker (CSW) at Maidstone Hospital, has been caring for patients with Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.

You can read about her experience of working on a Covid ward below:

I was just 16 years old when I started training as a Clinical Support Worker (CSW) at Maidstone Hospital in September 2019. My role is to support the other nursing staff and doctors by providing care and support to patients and their relatives. 

To start with I was placed on the Orthopaedic Ward looking after patients who had had elective surgery for things such as a hip or knee replacement. Little did I know that six months later I would be working for the NHS in the midst of a pandemic and being redeployed to a Covid-19 ward to help care for some of our sickest patients.

I was 17 when I started working on Covid wards, and I think it’s fair to say not many people my age have experienced or seen the things I have seen. One of the hardest things was limiting visitors to protect our patients, as a result the nursing staff effectively became their family – often sitting with them and supporting them during what was the hardest time of their life. Seeing the trust’s first Covid patient being discharged from our care is something I’ll never forget.

Whilst I’ve learnt so much over the past year, it’s also been an emotional roller-coaster. As well as working through the pandemic I have also lost loved ones to coronavirus. My grandad tested positive early last year but unfortunately lost his battle against the virus. Six months later both my great aunt and uncle contracted the virus. My great uncle is still fighting in the ICU at his local hospital and unfortunately my great aunt passed away after a truly short time.

It’s fair to say it’s been a tough year but without my team on the ward it could have been so much harder. We all support each other. My family have also helped me throughout the pandemic, supporting me when I’ve had a tough day. I know they’re extremely proud of me.

For as long as I can remember I have always wanted to be a nurse. I enjoy looking after people and I am proud to have been able to support patients and their relatives during the pandemic. My plan for the future is to do my nursing degree. Depending on how things go with Covid, I’m hoping to start it this September.

I love my job and I wouldn’t change it for the world. There are going to be tough days but each day is different. As they say, no two days are ever the same.