IWD 2021: Marie Winter

Marie Winter – Trustwide Covid Testing and Vaccinator Nurse at Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust

Marie has has worked for Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. She talks about her involvement in the vaccination programme and how she has felt extremely valued that her skills and previous experience have been recognised.

How have you been supporting the Covid-19 response and vaccination programme?
“I’ve been involved with the current Covid-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic last year. I am a registered mental health and learning disability nurse and was initially deployed to work at Rampton Hospital. When the ward closed, I was asked to assist with Covid-19 anti-body testing for staff until senior managers saw that my clinical skills could be of use elsewhere in the Trust. I was asked to join the new Trustwide Testing Team, assisting healthcare staff in the Offender Health division in testing their patients and more recently visiting patients in their homes as part of our community swabbing service. I really felt valued that my skills and previous experience had been recognised.

“Since joining the team I’ve been trained to become an assessor and vaccinator at national Covid-19 vaccination hubs and also for the extended role of assisting pharmacists in preparation of the Pfizer vaccine for trained vaccinators to administer. I have delivered vaccination skills training and carried out competency assessments for people with no prior experience and more recently have assisted our service teams across the Trust in vaccination of our service users and delivering training in the use of national immunisation IT systems.

“As my work involves working at many different locations, I’ve found that although everyone follows agreed protocols they have their own way of organising things, so I have learned to be ‘super’ adaptable. I have found that in some areas of the Trust, service users have been very well supported and informed by their care team in understanding more fully the benefits and possible consequences of having or not having the vaccination. This has made the assessment of capacity to consent much easier for the assessor/vaccinator.”

What have you enjoyed most about the work you are doing?
“One thing that stands out while I have been involved in the rollout of the testing and vaccination programme is how well people from such differing clinical and non-clinical backgrounds can work together in delivering a common goal.

“I have met so many inspirational people during the last 12 months, but one person comes to mind. I was carrying out Covid-19 swabbing at a YMCA hostel for homeless young adults and a woman who assisted me had been working there for just over a year – her compassion and commitment to her work was inspiring.”