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January 4, 2043

In the absence of any competitive rugby this season, I have swapped rain and mud filled Saturday’s running onto the BGRFC pitch, first aid kit in hand, with Saturday’s spent donning PPE on ITU.

My ‘day job’ as an Inpatient Physiotherapist at a local general hospital, is somewhat different to the first aid and injury assessments I complete on the rugby pitch and may be different from some people’s expectations.

Whilst the hospital and department made changes to adapt to the global pandemic, including an increased physiotherapy service over the weekend, our roles ultimately stayed the same. With the addition of a lot more PPE and some extra shifts we continued to care for, treat and rehabilitate patients within the hospital.

In A&E and the Emergency Floor I provided rapid assessments to facilitate people getting home safely, rather than being admitted into hospital. I have worked with elderly patients to recover from falls, illness and fractures. I’ve also worked on the intensive care unit to provide specialist respiratory physiotherapy techniques to help people’s respiratory system whilst on a ventilator or other modes of high oxygen delivery. As well as helping them to regain their ability to breathe, sit, stand, walk and ultimately to get home!

During this time Covid-19 has negatively affected many, with no rhyme or reason. I’ve witnessed difficult conversations, decisions and sad outcomes. However, I have been incredibly fortunate to help facilitate facetime calls with relatives, update families, read messages to patients sent in by their loved ones and be a small part of many people’s incredible recoveries, owing to their own individual strength and perseverance.

I hope everyone is managing well during these lockdowns and I look forward to Covid-19 rates disappearing, restrictions loosening and seeing everyone on the pitch and side-lines as soon as is safe to do so.

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