Queensland Children’s Hospital staff (from left) registered nurse Maja Mills, infection control nurse Kate Williams, emergency doctor Simon Potter and nurse Lauren Bhandari. Picture: Nigel Hallett
Queensland Children’s Hospital staff (from left) registered nurse Maja Mills, infection control nurse Kate Williams, emergency doctor Simon Potter and nurse Lauren Bhandari. Picture: Nigel Hallett

Your chance to salute our frontline heroes

FOR infection management nurse Alison Pickering helping to prevent the spread of a ­global pandemic is all in a day's work. It just means there is more of it.

Ms Pickering is a clinical nurse consultant in infection management for the Queensland Children's Hospital - and stopping viruses spreading is the literal job description.

"We are doing what we would normally do, but there is more focus on this disease and we've had to do a lot of work quite quickly," she said.

"But there is no difference really in it is it a pandemic or not."

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With research showing children are less likely to be infected with COVID-19, Children's Hospital emergency paediatrician Dr Katie ­Rasmussen said doctors were also focusing on family members who arrived with sick children.

"No child comes in without their family, and chances are if a child is infected with COVID-19 then the parents are infected too," she said.

Dr Rasmussen said the hospital was preparing for all eventualities, including having to deal with infected adult patients should other hospitals get overwhelmed"We are expecting the unexpected. We've got strategies for every eventuality," she said.

"This is something that no one wants to happen.

"But I know as an emergency doctor we are always ready for the unknown.

"We have to be ready and adaptable for anything.''

For Ms Pickering, there has been an unexpected benefit from the current crisis - people have been learning how to wash their hands like hospital staff.

"I've been waiting for years for people to start washing their hands properly!

"If only this wasn't the reason why everyone has started doing it,'' she said.

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Originally published as Your chance to salute our frontline heroes


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