Ana Bernic, Paediatric Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Fellow

Ana Bernic has been working as a Paediatric Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Fellow at St George’s since October 2019. She has recently been redeployed to Marnham ward as a result of Covid-19.

How have you had to adapt to your new role?

Since being redeployed, I’ve had to adapt to a completely different skillset and go back to my training. I did feel a bit out of place as I’ve spent the last ten years in ENT, but I feel positive to have been redeployed to such a great team on Marnham – they are so nice and there has been lots of support.

It’s a horrible situation for the whole country, but on a daily basis you see people making the best of it. When you work in the ENT team you’re working mostly with people related to your specialty, but since Covid-19 I’ve had a chance to work with lots more people across the Trust.

Looking ahead to the other side, I think this will strengthen connections between teams in the hospital.

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?

As a surgeon, I always try to be prepared as much as possible for every procedure, but in medicine nothing is ever the same and you need to be ready for unexpected and difficult situations and able to adapt.

So now, in this new situation, although I did feel out of my comfort zone I faced it as another challenge and opportunity to learn. I am grateful that we have been so well supported and guided by our fantastic medical colleagues.

I’m Croatian, and we went through a war when I was a kid, and I think because of that I’ve always tried to look on the positive side of things. I see St George’s staff dealing with the current situation in the same way and making the best out of the difficult situation. I am proud to be part of it.

Is there anything that you’ve found particularly inspiring about the response to Covid-19?

I’m inspired every day, from colleagues who have kids at home but still come in, our seniors and their leadership, to the neighbours who regularly check up on me. I am especially inspired by our most junior colleagues rising to the occasion with maturity and enthusiasm we can all admire.

People are amazing – we had one patient who could barely breathe but she was still trying to say thank you to us. When you see that it gives you the strength to carry on and give the best possible care for our patients.