Photographs from the frontline

Neurology nurse Ben Metherell’s photographs capture what it’s been like working on Ward 6 East during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ve always been interested in photography and I wanted to use my skills to capture the pandemic from the perspective of my colleagues,” Ben said.

Ben has never seen anything like this in his four years as a nurse.

“At the beginning of the pandemic we had fewer people present to hospital, as there was this fear in the community that you’d get COVID-19 from coming to hospital.

“Then things started getting really busy, our patient numbers increased and it felt like those patients that had avoided the hospital all started coming in at once,” he said.

After being admitted to Ward 6 East some patients then developed COVID-19 symptoms.

“Special precautions are put in place for suspected COVID-19 patients as we await their test results.”

“In my photos I wanted to capture this sense of isolation, especially for patients. Where we are usually going in and out of a patient’s room, we now need to put on full PPE on to visit patients with suspected COVID-19. They also call us from their bedside phone if they want to chat.”

“Another thing I wanted to highlight was this new way of working with PPE on, although PPE is common in nursing, the precautions required for COVID-19 are much more intense and it can be pretty uncomfortable to wear this all day," Ben said. 

“I’m just so proud of how my colleagues are managing, they’re doing an exceptional job."

Kathy entering a respiratory precaution room to care for one of our many non-COVID-19 patients.

Beatrice donning her mask prior to entering a COVID-19 precaution room

Working together to provide care for a patient in a COVID-19 isolation room

Sorcha performing hand hygiene, a key step in the PPE process

Sorcha donning protective eyewear prior to entering a COVID-19 isolation room

Sorcha talking to a patient with suspected COVID-19 prior to collecting their swab