Meet Karen Belton, she's one of the nurses working as a Vaccinator at Guernsey's Covid Vaccination Centre. We asked Karen to tell us a bit about herself and to share her thoughts on working at the CVC and living in Guernsey through the pandemic... of course, we put it in a List!
Here's what Karen had to say...
People who know me know that I am passionate about the delivery of immunisation programmes and this forms my daily work in Children and Family services working as the Lead Nurse for Immunisation. It has been a privilege for me to be able to work at the CVC delivering the Covid vaccine programme. I have been involved from day one when we gave the first Pfizer Biontech vaccines at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital.
At the CVC I have worked as both a vaccinator seeing health and social care professionals and our public groups for vaccination but also as a supervisor leading the sessions and helping those staff new to vaccination become confident in their new roles as vaccinators.
Clinically, we have been fortunate to have had a large number of staff volunteer from a number of professions to support the delivery of this programme. All these staff bring valuable skills from their respective workplaces and have created a great working team. I enjoy teaching and guiding the staff in my usual job and have enjoyed being able to carry on this work in a different setting with new colleagues.
All of the team, from the car park attendants and reception staff to the health care professionals have been amazing to work with and I have enjoyed meeting and working with people that I have never worked with before.
The work I have done at the CVC has been very rewarding from a personal perspective. Working through a global pandemic to deliver a vaccine programme which is looking more and more as evidence emerges that it will help us return to a more normal life or to life as we know it is fabulous.
The people attending the CVC to have their vaccines have brought with them many different emotions. Some have come through the doors in celebration mode, glad its their turn! Others have been hugely emotional, some in tears of either relief, gladness about getting the vaccine or sadness about events during the pandemic. A fair proportion have been anxious and nervous about receiving these new vaccines. We hope they have all felt welcome and have received all the help, kindness and information they have needed.
Living and working in Guernsey over the last year and a bit has been hard at times. In the first lockdown I was redeployed to work with the Rapid Response Community Nurse team for about 5 weeks. In the second lockdown I was able to work lots of my free time at the CVC. I feel glad that I was able to continue to go out to work and was thankful that I managed to escape too much home working!
Living in Guernsey has also been a blessing during the pandemic. Being able to get out every day and enjoy fresh air and a walk with my dog Monty has kept me sane, well mostly! What I hope the experiences of the last year have shown us all is that there can be pleasure in a more simple way of life. I believe many people have changed their outlook on what is important to them personally. I hope to be able to have a reunion with my 3 grown up children who live in England over the summer – I am sure we will get to that point but until then I plan to keep vaccinating ….. We still have a job to finish!
Thank you Karen!
There's more from Kaz and her colleagues in our feature on The Many Faces of Guernsey's CVC
Imagery by Paul Chambers
When it comes to living more sustainably, lots of small changes can have a big impact on our wellbeing and our local environment. As Guernsey Electricity moves forwards with plans for a more sustainable future for our island, they share some ideas with us on how to live a greener life.