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Theresa—Registered nurse
Operating theatre
Metropolitan Melbourne

Exhausted and relieved after taking my Level 4 PPE off after three hours. The pressure marks on my face show how tightly we must wear our masks to protect us from getting COVID-19. These marks fade, we shower, get dressed, we go home, but every healthcare worker’s face tells a story immediately after we remove our PPE. Here’s just one of mine.

You look scared when we meet. It wasn’t supposed to be like this as you were getting better. You’re only a few years older than me but your body isn’t able to help you anymore as you struggle to breathe.

We speak comforting words to you but you can only see our eyes through all our protective gear so I hope you know that we are here to help you. No family by your side, but the nurses and doctors at your bedside are all here in their place as we hold your hand and touch your skin in comfort.

As you drift off and the machine takes over your breathing, I hope and pray that you recover from this terrible virus.

I am proud to be a nurse.