A TV star best known for cutting through Britain’s sex taboos is battling on the Covid-19 frontline for the NHS.
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The 34-year-old model, who was a qualified nurse aged just 21, revealed the heartbreaking reality of life on the frontline.
And during the long shifts, she told how she cared for a man who died alone – before breaking the devastating news to his family over the phone.
Sarah admitted: “It’s been a challenge to say the least. People are dying on their own with no family members around and we are having to break the bad news over the phone.”
“One of my patients died alone on my first day back. His family weren’t allowed to say their goodbyes and having to break the news that he had died was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.”
“It really affected me and I couldn’t help but think about it for days.”
“Security guards often ring through to tell us that relatives of patients have turned up wanting to see their loved ones, against government advice.”
“Having to explain to them why we simply just can’t allow them in is something that doesn’t get easier.”
“Although I know it’s for all the right reasons, you can’t help but feel like a terrible person. It goes against my intuition as a nurse and instinct as a human.”
Sarah is best known for her TV and radio work but qualified as a nurse almost 14 years ago, and then went on to specialise in sexual health.Being more used to dealing with genital warts and other STDs, she admitted returning to the hospital wards was “daunting”.
She is based on a mixed ward at London’s Chelsea and Westminster hospital where patients with the disease lie in sealed off bays. She added: “The most heartbreaking thing for me is when patients tell me they feel lonely or scared.”
“The wards can feel claustrophobic and for the patients who have to live this way for days or weeks, it can feel like solitary confinement.”
“I make a habit of talking to them about non health-related things so whenever I come back, we can pick up on our conversations.”
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Sarah also defended nurses criticised for posting dancing videos on social media and said the weekly Clap for Carers “make all the difference”.
She said: “It’s unwarranted to have a pop at nurses just having some vital down-time. It’s so important that we keep our spirits up during this difficult time. As long as patient care is not compromised, I don’t see any harm in it.”
“The claps every Thursday make all the difference, too. It honestly means the world to know that people are supportive and acknowledge the hard work of the NHS and key workers. It reminds us every week that we really are in this together.”
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