An Auckland nurse has opened up about the realities of being a healthcare worker in New Zealand during the Covid-19 pandemic.
In a Facebook post, Noeleen Schoultz asked people to put themselves in the shoes of those "who have no choice but to be confronted with this illness face on".
"I have recently been told that colleagues of mine have been told that they can no longer live in their rental if they go to work. How ridiculous is that? I completely understand that its a frightening thing but do you not think that it is frightening for us and that we are doing everything we can not to bring it home with us?" she wrote on Facebook earlier today.
"We have families too that we don't want to compromise. So not only do we have to worry about that but now we have to worry whether or not we are going to have a place to stay if we go to work and do our job which is paying our bills.
Schoultz says that, as much as her and her colleagues would love to stay home with family, they have a duty of care.
"We have thought of other options to distance ourselves from loved ones by renting another place to stay plus finding washing facilities that would wash our uniforms rather then bringing them home with us (DHB should be doing this but they don't). All of which would be out of our own pocket which most of us can't afford," she said.
She says one unit of her hospital, which has approximately 15 nurses per shift, has only one shower.
"Nothing else has been organised or sorted out for us. Something so basic but management doesn't care but we do! We are not asking for much, just something that can help lift the burden off us a little, such as an understanding community.
"I have never been so shocked and disappointed in some of NZ people as I am now. We are not cared for by the DHB and we are literally fighting for a safer environment every shift and now we are having to fight outside of work," she said.
"I am one of the lucky ones. It's my landlords that remind me every day that there are Kiwis that are decent and compassionate to what we do and remind me why I fell in love with NZ in the first place.
"Sorry again for the rant, I just really hope that you will keep this in mind when you see a nurse or someone that is on the frontline. If anyone has any idea to help us, please let me know. We are open to ideas and other options."
Schoultz's post received a wave of support on Facebook.
"This is awful! I'm sure those landlords have no right to evict your colleagues but it's still so stressful for them. You guys and all the essential service workers are holding everything together right now. You deserve to be treated with respect and be given all the means necessary to make your work/home life manageable at this time," one person commented.
"I do hope that our Government can provide us with the accompdation for the meantime during this outbreak. Some of us are being discriminated [against]. There are even some nurses who were abruptly asked to leave their flat due to this pandemic. We the frontliners would need support from the Government during this time," another nurse commented.