Returning from maternity leave in a time of Covid

I had the day, May 3rd marked on my desk calendar as the day I was looking forward to wrapping up my work as a Care Coordinator at CCNB and embarking on a year off to be with my new baby girl. The year flew by and in the blink of an eye I was walking back in the office with a spring in my step to pick up my laptop and pick up things where I had left off. Only- the world had changed while I was gone.

Face to face discussions were replaced by Zoom, copious emails (only 3000 unread in my inbox) and phone calls galore. Coffee chat in the kitchen was been replaced by instant messages, and pants and respectable shoes quickly replaced by fluffy Ugg boots and comfy pants. Not to mention a new data management system, new colleagues and new processes to get myself familiar with.

The thing that comforts me though is the one constant that didn’t change- the respect, care and compassion for our clients and the community. I took a call from a woman I had not met, she was worried for her mum she said needed to see a GP but she couldn’t get out of the house. That afternoon I happened to have had a zoom with our Dementia Advisor and I mentioned the issue. She suggested a telehealth assessment. I was able to arrange a GP telehealth appointment for her that very afternoon.

This led to the prompt escalation of clinical care for the customer. With the involvement of myself, ACAT, hospital social workers, a local respite facility, and with support of her family, she is now receiving the medical care and attention she so vitally needed. This was all coordinated whilst I was sitting in my kitchen!

Today I got to speak to a client about funding options for his sleep apnea, all whilst sitting out in the sunshine. Yesterday, I referred a socially isolated and housebound client with a lovely volunteer and a care package. She was unsure at the time but I insisted she say yes, now there is a beautiful friendship in the making. Tomorrow I will wade through checking financial statements.

Transitioning back to work I’m so grateful for home, grateful for the team of volunteers out there stomping the streets, grateful for my colleagues who stop what they are doing to help me at any time, and of course, grateful for the care and compassion still underpinning all that we do here at CCNB and of course, for not having to put on real pants in the morning.