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3 Apr 2020 Community

Coronavirus pandemic, an Auxiliary Nurse’s perspective

Here at Kirkwood, our Clinical teams are working day and night, providing care to some of the most vulnerable people in Kirklees during the coronavirus pandemic. For Megan Birkhead, who began working for Kirkwood nine weeks ago as an Auxiliary Nurse, the worldwide crisis has been a huge eye-opening experience. Here is Megan’s story: 

“When I was six-years-old, in 2005, a close friend of my mum’s, who was also my Godmother, was cared for by Kirkwood. I have vivid memories of coming and playing in the garden at Kirkwood. Since then, my mum always made sure that we came to the annual Summer Fair when it was held at the Hospice. 

“I remember always being curious even when I was young about the care that was going on inside the building. Now, 15 years later I’ve been working at Kirkwood for nine weeks and I absolutely love it. 

“I get to work with so many lovely people who all come to work with the same aim in their minds, to provide the service that we do! I have been welcomed onto the In-Patient Unit Team with open arms and I feel like I’ve been here forever. 

“Since the Coronavirus outbreak, we’ve all had to expand our skills and adapt to different roles that we wouldn’t necessarily do. Our awareness of what is going on outside our walls has changed but our standard of care and support for our patients and families remains the same. 

“It’s very surreal to be working in a healthcare environment at the moment, we are all still trying to provide the very best care either out in the community or on the In-Patient Unit during the pandemic. 


“We’re in an environment where we only get one chance to get it right, so I feel it is so important that whilst we are going through this, despite everything, we are still meeting our patient’s and families’ wishes.

“Everyone is in the same boat. When I leave work and go home, I go into the same environment as everyone else. I have to social distance and stay home to protect my loved ones and neighbours. It’s scary what’s happening, even for us nurses and healthcare professionals that deal with so many scenarios every day. 

“At Kirkwood, we’re away from the Intensive Care Units and Hospital wards but we are very much playing our part and are fully prepared for a difficult few months.

“The generosity and support of our local community has really kept us going. There has been a variety of donations over the past few weeks and it’s made us all smile and gives us something to chat about for the rest of the shift. 

“We’re all dealing with these changes by sticking together, we are all human and have the same worries but we are an amazing team and I am so proud to be part of it! Whatever we may face in the near future, we all have our In-Patient Unit Team to help us get through it. 

“Never in a million years did I think at 6-years-old, visiting for the first time, would I be working here 15 years later. Kirkwood has my heart.” 

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