A LOCAL district nurse has called on people to be kind to each other as the pandemic has created mental health challenges.
Rachael Mallon, Acting District Nurse Team Leader for Newtownstewart and Drumquin Community Nursing Team has been qualified as a nurse for 16 years after following in both her parents footsteps.
Rachael has nursed in a variety of clinical areas such as ICU, endoscopy, public health, day procedure and also in the private sector in laser eye correction.
She has enjoyed nursing both in Australia and England but is delighted to be home working locally in Newtownstewart and Drumquin to be close to family and friends.
Rachael has been working on the frontline throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, and has urged people to be kind as the outbreak has taken its toil on many people’s mental health.
“People need to continue to follow the government guidelines and remember to be kind to each other.
“This pandemic has not only been a physical challenge but also mental health has to be recognised.
“It is ok to ask for help and we are all in this together.”
During the pandemic, Rachael’s workload has increased “greatly” as patients are unable to attend the GP practice, and depend on District Nurses to visit their homes.
She explained, “The demand for District nursing services has greatly increased due to patients shielding and cannot attend treatment room or be reviewed by their GP.
“We are continuing to manage the current caseload of patients who are housebound and also carry out covid-19 testing on patients going into respite or attending for hospital procedures.
“My role as District Sister has changed in the sense of the increased workload of new patients on the caseload, educating and supporting staff with new policies and guidelines with covid-19.
“For me, the best aspect of the job is ensuring patients get the expertise care at home and supporting their anxieties through covid-19,” said Rachael.
During her work, Rachael becomes close with all of her patients and their families, and this is one of the main reasons why she decided on this job.
She continued, “District nurses are lone workers who make independent clinical decisions and to be able to have the skills and knowledge to confidently assess and treat patients at home provides great job satisfaction.
“We support families to allow them to care for their loved ones at home.
“We manage complex health care needs and improve quality of health and life.
“District nurses are the keyworkers for palliative care patients and we are able to grant patients their wishes to remain at home and provide the same care they would get as if they were in hospital,” said Rachael.
While it has been a tough time for healthcare workers throughout Tyrone, Rachael has paid special tribute to her local team.
“I am very proud of the district team in Newtownstewart and Drumquin,” said Rachael.
“The girls have worked extremely hard during covid-19 and believe me, behind the masks, the girls are always smiling and will go the extra mile for our patients.”