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Caregivers of COVID - Paul Anstis

28 July 2021 Blog
Meet our caregivers
Paul, Associate Nurse Manager at St John of God Geelong Hospital, shares his experiences working in a busy, acute hospital the middle of a pandemic.

I chose to be open to family, friends, colleagues and even my manager about my struggles and how the extra stress at work during the pandemic was affecting me.

COVID-19 was quite inconvenient timing. I'm not saying I'm worse off than others... quite the opposite in many aspects. My wife and I, both as nurses had guaranteed work, which meant stable finances. We organised for tradies to do several jobs that would have normally waited another year or so but we wanted to give them work early to reduce their family stress.

I had started struggling with mental health issues when the pandemic hit us. I had to be very determined not to become solely inward-looking and deliberately looked back on the successful paths of the past. I chose to be open to family, friends, colleagues and even my manager about my struggles and how the extra stress at work during the pandemic was affecting me.

My manager was excellent in helping me connect with EAP and their top-notch counsellor helped me work out strategies to... well not as much cope initially... but how to stop the slide, and then later cope.

I chose to engage not only with people but also with my mind and body. I took a refresher course in the Rapid Induction to ICU, saw a personal trainer during the lockdowns, and deliberately engaged in my Christian faith. Some of the above were time-consuming and expensive and my wife supported me well in these areas and in all things.

I am coming through well, thanks to understanding friends and family, a manager who despite staff shortages ensured I had the time off I needed periodically, a loving wife and a God who never leaves me.

What a time we have had... and it isn’t quite over yet!

Caregivers of COVID

The Caregivers of COVID series shares the stories and experiences at St John of God Health Care that made most of 2020 so extraordinary.

Paul Anstis, Associate Nurse Manager at St John of God Geelong Hospital
Paul Anstis - Cardiac Care Nurse Unit Manager
Paul Anstis is the Cardiac Care Nurse Unit Manager at St John of God Geelong Hospital. He is also a clinical nurse specialist.