Megan works as a nurse at Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London and has been nursing for only a year and a half. She was transfered to the ITU unit during the Covid19 pandemic. I painted her portrait as part of the #portraitsfornhsheroes initiative created by fellow Oxford art society member and painter friend Tom Croft.
Megan’s experience her own words.
I felt very lucky that I had worked in a medical ward and had recent surgical experience before being transferred to ITU during the covid pandemic as both areas intertwined in the high level of care- but was still surprised by how different it felt to any experiences I’ve had through training and qualification.
As someone who enjoys chatting with patients it felt very strange to be looking after someone and not know what their voice sounded like. The dissonant sound of countless beeps, hums and drones from the equipment in the room almost became the patients voice whilst they couldn’t use their own- alerting to when something is wrong and reassuring when things improve.
My overwhelming feeling of working in ITU during the pandemic was gratitude for the nurses, doctors, physiotherapists and other fantastic members of the healthcare team. I continually saw colleagues support each other and help with not only the patient during and incredibly scary and difficult period of their life, but also fortifying and providing reassurance to ITU newcomers like myself.
I’m grateful for my ITU experience, and feel very lucky to have seen so many patients improve and to use their voices again. “