Step into Spring
The third wave of the COVID 19 pandemic put significant strain on the nation’s healthcare service. Frontline healthcare workers across the country, including the members of the CUH Department of Anaesthesia, were faced with the challenge of caring for a rapidly increasing number of critically unwell patients presenting with COVID related illnesses in addition to addressing the usual service requirements. As always, teamwork, professionalism and compassion were abundant- both within the Department and across the many fantastic healthcare teams in which we function. However, as the clinical situation stabilised and the vaccine program was rolled out, we found time to regroup and to formally welcome the new colleagues who had joined us during this time.
As a Department, we were keen to recognise the ongoing contribution being made by children during the pandemic. With usual routines disrupted, on-line schooling, and social activities cancelled, we feel that they are playing a huge part in keeping us all safe. Dr Claire Healy coordinated a Children’s Art Competition, inviting photographs of contributions from family and friends of members of our Department. We had entries from 25 children, aged 1 to 15 years, from Vancouver to Lahore. We had a photograph of shoes, a Lego figure with a sword, a drawing of a horse, anatomical models, a Greek helmet, and a plate of cheesy pasta art/dinner. The artworks were compiled by Claire in a Virtual Art Gallery and a piece of performance art titled “Batman Cuts Hedge” was particularly popular with the other young entrants. Each child was awarded an “Awesome Art” bag of sweets.
We had a socially distanced spring themed party on 19th February. We took this opportunity to thank Dr Aoife O’Loughlin on her contributions to team morale, including the popular Non-Denominational Winter Holiday Themed Anonymous Departmental Gift Exchange (also known as Secret Santa) and to wish her well on her travels to New Zealand. Dr Niamh Coughlan presented Aoife with the Ceremonial Box of Tunnock’s Teacakes (her favourite). We held a Saint Patrick’s Day themed party on March 18th. Dr Eanna O’Sullivan coordinated a CUH Hospital quiz, and the Easter Bunny came early when Eanna drew the four names from a hat, each to receive a box of chocolates.
Winter Holiday Themed Anonymous Departmental Gift Exchange (also known as Secret Santa) and to wish her well on her travels to New Zealand. Dr Niamh Coughlan presented Aoife with the Ceremonial Box of Tunnock’s Teacakes (her favourite). We held a Saint Patrick’s Day themed party on March 18th. Dr Eanna O’Sullivan coordinated a CUH Hospital quiz, and the Easter Bunny came early when Eanna drew the four names from a hat, each to receive a box of chocolates.
Ms May Barry (CNM II) devised a league table for teams from the CUH Main Theatre Complex who wished to enter teams for the Marchathon Step Challenge promoted by the National Transport Authority. This was run as a fundraiser for the Irish Kidney Association, in tribute to our esteemed theatre colleague, Tracy Long Kennedy (RGN), who sadly passed away recently, and for Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland. Three anaesthesia teams entered- The Knockout Gang captained by Dr Ed Quinlan, The Propofol Pushers captained by Dr Niamh Coughlan and The Cork City Ramblers captained by Dr Ciara Fahy. Prizes were donated by some members of the theatre team to add a little motivation. It rapidly became quite competitive, resulting in some good-natured discussions in the Anaesthetic Office and in-depth analysis of such variables as distance and stride length. In the end, The Theatre Legends (a team consisting of our health care assistant colleagues) were hard to beat. It proved to be a fun team building exercise and 1,200 euros was raised for two wonderful causes.
We are hoping that the good weather continues and that we can soon build on the successes of last year’s outdoor team building activities, including kayaking, cycling and the early morning Wake Up Shake Up.
Dr Oonagh Hickey, Consultant Anaesthetist, Cork University Hospital