Cigna nurses – Going above and beyond during COVID-19

Cigna nurses – Going above and beyond during COVID-19

A number of our Cigna nurses have taken the decision to join the front line and return to a hospital setting during the coronavirus pandemic.
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We are continuing to monitor the coronavirus pandemic and we recognize that our Cigna mission to protect the health, well-being and peace of mind of those we serve has never been more relevant.

Our nurses are going above and beyond with their duty of care.

They are incredibly inspiring and we have spoken to a few of the team to find out more.

What inspired you to do this?

Stacey Woodlock, Glasgow

I was actually off sick with what was likely COVID-19 when it escalated quickly and we went into lockdown. By this point they were only testing hospital inpatients, and I was unwell and knew I only had a mild version. I only left ITU in November 2019 and I have a particular skill set which I knew they would need.  

It wasn’t a decision I took lightly at all as I have a family, but I just had to help and I do not regret this decision. It means that my son has to stay more at his dads, as I don’t want him to be in the house when I came home from work.

Elena Centenera, Madrid

As a nurse, I feel the responsibility to do my bit and contribute to society. Currently the emotional burden is overwhelming, however, now we must focus on helping and maintaining a positive attitude in order to give the best of ourselves.

Elena Mora, Madrid

Vocation means wanting to help others without caring about anything else and that for me is nursing. I can only be grateful for having been able to contribute my bit, give my best and continue learning every day at this very difficult time.

Beatriz Caballero, Madrid

What inspired me to help in the field during these crazy times was the fact that hospitals in Madrid were collapsing and there were not enough nurses for the huge amount of patients they were receiving.

Monica Arribas, Madrid

When the much-feared state of alert was announced in Spain, I called HR and offered my free time (Saturdays and Sundays) to help at the Fuenlabrada Hospital in whatever way was necessary, even at the risk of becoming infected and infecting my family.

So that's how I started.  I now work weekends in a COVID-19 area. Although it may sound surprising, I feel happy. Nursing care is my job and requires my dedication. We are battling a monster that we do not know how to control with everything that we have.

Even so, little by little, and slower than we would like, we are returning to normality.

Solange Fichet, Italy

I worked in countries far away and different from mine, during wars and epidemic outbreaks and I never thought I would have to face something like this at home, in my country.

But I always thought that each of us should contribute, always and in any case, according to the skills and possibilities to make this world better, maybe that's also why I chose to be a nurse ... this was my way of contributing, of be there.

How have you found working on the front line during this pandemic?

Stacey Woodlock, Glasgow

Going back was like walking into a war zone! I have never experienced anything quite like it. In the hospital before, there would have been a maximum of six or seven ITU patients and now we have 15 at a time. All very sick and with multiple organ failure.

At the start of a shift, you go to the donning station and this is where you put on all your PPE. Once you are wearing your PPE, you are in it for at least five hours before you get a break. This is to allow pressure area care for your face and so you can have a drink. The shifts were very hard going, physically and mentally. The staff are dehydrated and have sores on their faces due to the masks.  

I am grateful for those masks as unfortunately other hospitals and wards are not as fortunate. The hardest part is speaking to the families who couldn’t visit their loved ones, or putting a phone to the patients’ ear to allow their relatives to speak to them, unsure if they could even hear.

The unit started using iPads and the nurses would send a video email each shift with an update, which was really good for the patients’ families. It is a struggle, but all of the medical staff come together and work as a team! 

Beatriz Caballero, Madrid

Working on the front line during this pandemic has been very intense and extremely rewarding, as it is most of the time during our daily work as nurses.

We would never have expected to experience this situation in our home country and seeing it so close was shocking at the beginning. However, nurses are always there when they are needed, so we gave our best to ensure that patients have the least traumatic experience possible in this very difficult situation of isolation from their loved ones. 

Solange Fichet, Italy

Working in this situation has been complex. It was difficult to face COVID-19 because of the lack of information, new protocols and procedures and things where changing daily.

The situation has been useful to remind us all how valuable and indispensable teamwork is. United we faced all the difficulties and fears, we shared the technical and theoretical knowledge to enrich our professional background, in order to be stronger. Together we shared moments of silence, laughs but also deep reflections on the limits that still today, in the luckiest part of the world, science is forced to recognize.

Do you have any other messages that you would like to share?

Stacey Woodlock, Glasgow

I would like to thank all the nurses at Cigna for continuing to provide ongoing support in these tough times for customers and each other, they may not be in the hospitals, but they are still very much, key workers and a saving grace for many people whilst also having to deal with the upset of this pandemic. Thanks to the Nursing managers, particularly Jane McGilvray and Scott Mountford for their support in helping me go back to the NHS and help.  

My message to everyone would be there is light at the end of the tunnel and things have settled down which means the social distancing is working. We’ve got this far, hold on a bit longer. We’ve got this!

Beatriz Caballero, Madrid

I would ask people to remember that medical staff do an amazing job every day and not just during this pandemic. When this is over, don’t forget how hard we have all worked, this is the most beautiful job in the world.

Monica Arribas, Madrid

For me, it has become an enriching experience and I am very proud to be part of this. But, without the support I have received from Cigna, it would not have been possible… so the small part that I have contributed regarding this war is also partially owed to Cigna. Thank you very much on my behalf and from all those whom I have cared for and treated.

Solange Fichet, Italy

I would like people to understand that we live in a large community, which goes beyond the borders of their region and state. That we are called to respect all these rules for the good of all and not of the individual.  I wish everyone understood that nobody is safe until everyone is safe.

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