Getting to know Sandra…
Sandra is a staff nurse in our busy A&E department. She features in episode three of ’24 Hours in A&E’ (aired 13/11/14) discussing what made her want to become a nurse.
What is your role within A&E?
My role is staff nurse in A&E dept.
How long have you worked at St George’s?
I have worked at St. Georges over four years, two years medical assessment unit (MAU) and two years A&E.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I became a nurse after I lost my eldest son in a car accident.
How many patients do you treat in an average day? What conditions / illnesses do they have?
We see hundreds of patients on a daily basis.
What did you think when they announced ‘24hrs in A&E’ was going to be filmed at St George’s?
I was very wary when I knew 24 hours cameras were coming in, my biggest fear was professionalism, confidentiality and dignity, from a patient point of view.
Did you find it had any impact on your day?
At first I was very unsure of cameras, but soon forgot they were here and carried on as normal. In fact sometimes I forgot the microphone was on and went to the loo to spend a penny. I cringe at them listening to me tiddle in the gallery!
What have you enjoyed the most from your experience of ‘24hrs in A&E’?
The 24 hours team seemed to blend into the background and seem to be part of the team too. They were very polite and not at all intruding.
What is your highlight moment of the series?
I think seeing our department in the first episode on TV was great! It portrayed just how strong and professional our team is.
What was the biggest challenge you experienced during the filming?
The biggest challenge was doing the interview on camera. It was a weird experience! I nearly didn’t do it, I usually don’t like even like having a photograph being taken. I am very camera shy.
What is the benefit of St George’s participating in a show like ‘24hrs in A&E’?
St George’s will benefit from the series as it will show that we are a great team, and how hard it is working within the NHS, but also it can be so very rewarding.
Is there anything that was or wasn’t caught on camera which you wish wasn’t or was?
I looked after a young man who fell off a zip wire, he totally lost his memory and was chatting about seeing his grandfather in the ambulance. Suddenly he burst into tears as he said he had just remembered his granddad had died a few years ago.
We were looking after him and his sister started to get tearful when she saw me, and said I looked like their mum who died. She had brought her brother up and looked after him as a child.
I had to hide in another cubicle because they moved me to tears. I wondered whether he really did see his granddad, was he looking after him in the ambulance? Sadly this was not caught on camera, but I will never forget this young man.
Weeks later I received a card saying he still does not remember what happened that night in A&E but he remembered me so well, and how grateful he was for my care, I cried again!