Former nurse talks to our Media Cubs about COVID19 and supporting our NHS

Former nurse Lesley Downing put herself in the hot seat to take questions submitted to us from our Media Cubs online about nursing and the current COVID19 pandemic on World Health Day.

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us about your job?

Hi, I am Lesley and used to work as an A&E and theatre nurse. As a nurse, my role was to care for people who are poorly in hospital and support the doctor’s work.

What did you enjoy most about your job?

It was a very rewarding job to help people to feel better and also be there for them when things were really tough. I also liked that nurses were very supportive of each other.

What was the most difficult thing about being a nurse?

It was always very long hours and you did not always get a lot of time away from work and when you were away from it, it was hard to switch off.

What do you think about the current situation with the COVID19 pandemic?

If I was still on the frontline nursing, I would feel very, very committed to my job, as each and every one of the nurses are today.

It is an extremely demanding job under normal circumstances and must be even more so now – mentally, physically and emotionally.

I have put my name down, along with thousands of other people to volunteer back in the health service.

What do you hope for nursing and the NHS after the pandemic is over?

Around the world nurses are demonstrating their compassion, bravery and courage as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic: never before has their value been more clearly demonstrated.

I hope a positive outcome from this terrible situation is that our NHS will be supported more and all the people that work in it, like the nurses, so they can get better pay and support from the Government – along with other key workers like teacher, the postal service, bus drivers and shop staff.

What would you say to the nursing staff if you could speak to them now?

I would like to say a big thank you to all the hard-working nurse staff – good on them, they are absolutely wonderful. I hope we come out of this rewarding each and every one of them.

Why don’t you have a go of interviewing a family member or friend while in lockdown and send it to use as a video via Instagram or Facebook or email us about it at