This International Nurses Day, 12 May, we recognise the contribution of all our wonderful nurses who have been integral in keeping our customers safe throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Having highly skilled and experienced registered nurses supporting customers at Yooralla’s Ventilator Assisted Support Service (VASS) during the pandemic was especially paramount.
VASS is a unique service that was purpose built for people dependent on mechanical ventilators who require high level 24-hour support.
People reliant on a ventilator to breathe are one of the most medically vulnerable groups so the utmost protection was needed during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure the safety of VASS residents.
Mary Carbonilla, an experienced registered nurse, worked at VASS through the entirety of the pandemic and said that from the outset, the safety of VASS residents was top priority.
“Immediately we started using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)”.
“All staff at the service were educated regarding PPE and were shown how to wear it, including putting the mask on first,” she said.
The staff and nurses at VASS quickly implemented the safety and temperature screening that has become a part of everyday life since the pandemic struck.
“All staff had their temperature checked when they arrived at VASS, and customers had their temperature checked every eight hours to monitor for even the slightest of symptoms.
“We also monitored where the residents and staff were coming in from, in case they were travelling from an identified exposure site.
“VASS was very strict with anybody that was showing any symptoms, encouraging them to get tested and isolate until the results came back negative,” said Mary.
With the COVID test results taking between 48-72 hours initially, the need to isolate after testing challenged the staffing at VASS.
“Many nurses here were working extra shifts to keep the customers supported while others needed to isolate.
“We worked really hard to keep the customers safe,” said Mary.
Nurses also supported residents to stay connected during lockdown, as they were feeling the impact of isolation, being unable to see their friends and families due to the Government recommendations around visitor restrictions.
“The residents had lots of phone and video calls with their friends and families,” she said.
The commitment and dedication of the nurses at VASS was integral to keeping the residents at the service safe.
We’d like to take this opportunity on International Nurses Day to recognise the commitment of all Yooralla nurses, who work so hard every day but in particular throughout the entirety of the COVID-19 pandemic.