A nurse practitioner’s personal and debilitating experience of long COVID – Mastering Intensive Care 063 with Naomi Pratt
The guest on this episode is Nurse Practitioner Naomi Pratt who describes the lingering and harrowing effects of long COVID.
Naomi (@gnome3927) is a Nurse Practitioner who jointly manages and leads the Critical Care Liaison Nurse service at Peninsula Health. In this role she provides clinical leadership and the Intensive Care response to Medical Emergency Team calls. She has completed post graduate qualifications in Intensive Care and has over 20 years of ICU experience. She completed her Masters in Nursing (Nurse Practitioner) at LaTrobe University and has been an endorsed Nurse Practitioner since 2015.
Naomi has a keen interest in providing critical care outreach and supporting clinicians caring for deteriorating patients in ward areas outside of ICU. She is a clinical mentor for advanced practice nurses at Peninsula Health and has undertaken research to understand the factors associated with the care of deteriorating patients. This has resulted in several conference presentations and journal publications.
Naomi tries to balance the challenge of work and enjoying time with her family and friends. She is lucky to live on the Mornington Peninsula, outside of Melbourne, where she shares the environment with many local animals including the visiting koalas, birdlife and pobblebonk frogs.
Naomi and I work at the same hospital and I started wondering if something was wrong when I hadn’t seen her for over a month during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sure enough, Naomi was at home and was unwell with COVID-19.
Naomi has experienced a diverse range of significant symptoms over many months, some of which have lingered. She has resumed working with lighter duties than her usual busy role, yet experiences “up and down” periods with a decent level of fatigue. Naomi remains below her normal full health and seems to now have the condition which has become known as long COVID.
Naomi is a true expert at keeping sick hospitalised patients out of ICU and, whilst performing that role, appears to have developed COVID-19 from exposure to a patient. I therefore asked her if we could record a conversation about her 2020 experience so it might help others.
In this episode, Naomi talks about:
- Her career background to becoming a Critical Care Liaison Nurse
- The role she plays in the Liaison Nurse service at Frankston Hospital
- How she juggles the many different requirements of this position
- The night shift she was exposed to COVID-19 by helping to intubate a patient
- The PPE policy at that early period of the pandemic
- Developing the symptoms of, and being diagnosed with, COVID-19
- Why she felt she shouldn’t share this information with other people early in her illness
- Her personal health experience of COVID-19
- Quarantining in her home with her family
- The severe chest pains she later endured
- The many additional symptoms she developed as it turned into long COVID
- How she is feeling now, many months later, in her recovery
- Some thoughts about keeping healthcare workers safe from COVID-19
Naomi is courageous to tell her personal health story on a podcast. I really hope you find this valuable to listen to.
Links related to Naomi Pratt
Further reading and listening
- Full podcast collection on LITFL and Libsyn
- The New Normal Project podcast
- More conversation on Twitter (@andrewdavies66) and Facebook
- Audio Producer: Chris Burke of Burke Sound & Media
Mastering Intensive Care
with Andrew Davies