Irish frontline nurse opens up on sacrifices she will make this Christmas

A frontline nurse has shared the sacrifices she and her colleagues will make this Christmas. Anne-Marie Maguire starts six night shifts ...


A frontline nurse has shared the sacrifices she and her colleagues will make this Christmas.

Anne-Marie Maguire starts six night shifts tonight at a Dublin hospital.

She has worked in the A&E department for 14 years where eight of her 70-strong team of doctors and nurses have caught coronavirus.

Anne-Marie said: “Two of them were really sick with it, thank God they’re fine now.

“You are wearing full PPE dealing with Covid patients and you try to be careful, wash your hands, have a smile behind the mask.”

The 39-year-old will work a 12-hour shift from 8pm to 8am then return to her new home in Leixlip, Co Kildare, on Christmas Day.

A&E nurse Anne-Marie Maguire, 39, from Clare.

She added: “You have that unknown fear going to work every day because you don’t know what’s coming through the door, you don’t know if you’re going to catch it at work.

“When we had a lot of young people coming through with Covid, and I suppose the fact that we were all young as well, you’re really worried.

“My friend’s dad died of Covid during the year. He was in a nursing home.

“People do feel that hurt and loss, not being able to hold their hand and the guilt.”

Anne-Marie, originally from Co Clare, would normally spend Christmas at an aunt’s house with 13 others “eating dinner and playing board games”.

Anne-Marie said: “You get used to sacrifice.

“It is hard now because my sister has two little boys and they’re all about Santa.”

She said nurses are acutely aware of the coronavirus risk and take the responsibility seriously outside work. She said: “Obviously you don’t want to catch Covid and bring it into work and then everybody you work with ends up being a contact as well.

“This year’s harder because you have to think of others and their families, you have to be more mindful.”

According to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation, 12,500 healthcare workers have been infected with the virus so far.

General secretary Phil Ní Sheaghdha said there is huge pressure on rosters for nurses and with virus figures “going the wrong way this week”, we have to “ensure healthcare workers are not overwhelmed”.

Anne-Marie admitted: “You get the anxiety, the overwhelmness, the worry.

“If someone is overwhelmed, you take a few minutes and come back.

“You can’t blame people at the moment for getting anxious or overwhelmed during work.”

Meanwhile, INMO is representing student nurses, who are not paid despite working on the frontlines, in talks with the Government.

Anne-Marie said: “It’s so hard on them, putting them on the front line, working with Covid patients.

“Putting themselves and their families at risk.”

To boost morale her team will exchange small secret Santa gifts on Christmas Eve.

She said: “Every day brings a new dawn and we’re hoping 2021 will bring a better year.”



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Newsrust: Irish frontline nurse opens up on sacrifices she will make this Christmas
Irish frontline nurse opens up on sacrifices she will make this Christmas
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