Ipswich Hospital nurse Ryanda Prosser.
Ipswich Hospital nurse Ryanda Prosser.

What hotel isolation is like for health care workers

AN Ipswich nurse has found a creative way to get through hotel isolation and bring a smile to colleagues’ faces after local health care workers were pulled from the frontline after a cluster of COVID-19 cases.

More than 220 staff at Ipswich Hospital had to go into quarantine earlier this month.

Registered nurse Ryanda Prosser went into self isolation at home on September 5 and then into hotel isolation in Brisbane on September 9.

She hopes to get out on Friday.

“Being in hotel iso is a little bit different,” she said.

“It’s sort of like being on a cruise ship just without the fun and the sun.

“The room is not much bigger than that of a cruise ship and literally everything gets provided for you.

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“The meals are dropped to the door, our fresh linen is dropped at the door. We even get swabbed in our door ways.”

She only gets to spend 20 minutes a day outside.

Ms Prosser wrote up a to-do list soon after she arrived at the hotel and has been doing yoga, playing guitar and sewing to keep herself busy.

“I’ve just kept busy doing really basic things,” she said.

That led her to writing a humorous song she titled Rona,which she then recorded and shared on Facebook for her workmates to see.

Set to the tune of Living Next Door to Alice by Smokie; Mrs Prosser wanted fellow hospital staff to have a laugh and forget where they were for a few minutes.

It proved a hit.

“I know that we were all going through such a stressful time,” she said.

“There was a couple of days there we didn’t know what direction we were actually taking and it was getting frustrated.

Ipswich Hospital nurse Ryanda Prosser wrote a song titled Rona while in hotel isolation.
Ipswich Hospital nurse Ryanda Prosser wrote a song titled Rona while in hotel isolation.

“I like to be a bit of a character at work and I’m like ‘they better not forget me at this time.’

“Facebook is the greatest tool when used properly and it’s enabled us to keep in contact on a daily basis.

“That’s helped me so much get through this isolation period.

“The little good morning messages are really what’s keeping us all going I think throughout this tricky time.”

The Brassall nurse said it had been a difficult few months working on the frontline in an unprecedented situation for everyone.

Mrs Prosser said support from colleagues and upper management at West Moreton Health had been essential in getting her through the COVID pandemic so far.

“It’s definitely been a journey,” she said.

“Some days are a lot easier than others but this is what we signed up to do as nurses and doctors.

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“We’re the front line and we have to be there for people in whatever capacity they need.

“We don’t go looking for that pat on the back or anything.”

Apart from maintaining hand hygiene and social distancing, Mrs Prosser believed the key in the coming months was kindness.

“We’re all dealing with this in our own way,” she said.

“Coronavirus is here to stay whether we like it or not.

“We need to learn how to deal with it but deal with it in a compassionate way.

“We have to be kind to each other. That kindness and lovingness is what gets us through to the other end.

“We need to pull together as a family, as a society and as a nation.

“With a bit more kindness we’ll be OK on the other side of it.”

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.