Filipinos Working Hard During COVID-19|

Shella Marie Delos Santos

The Head Nurse of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in a hospital near the capital of Ireland is relieved that the number of positive coronavirus cases has decreased.

Shella Marie Delos Santos is the ICU Clinical Nurse Manager 2 of Naas General Hospital in Kildare where she has been working for the past 16 years. Prior to that, she was a Staff Nurse at the Armed Forces of the Philippines for six years. Her team has handled three Filipinos who had to be transferred to another hospital in Dublin for more advanced care.

When asked about the May 18 extension by the Irish government, she said, “I think the lockdown extension is absolutely a better and safer decision. The curve was flattened. Last week was such a great relief as our number of patients was diminished and there was no sicker patient in the hospital. I managed to take four days off as we were quiet in ICU. The staff in our ICU were able to rest. Hopefully we would not have a second wave . If people obey and respect the restrictions, that will be great.”

Stella is one of ten Filipinos working in the ICU nurses in the unit. They were very busy up to last week.

“Last week we were up to our eyeballs and this week was such a great relief for everyone. Last Friday we only had two patients in our unit. We managed to have a bit of fun to boost our morale by dancing.”

Naas General Hospital is located near Dublin and serves Kildare and West Wicklow, an area with rapidly growing population.

“The hardwork and support of the management and all the staff in Naas General Hospital is highly. commendable. We look after each other, and I am very proud of all the ICU nurses for their dedication to the nursing profession.”

She concludes, “It seems like this is the sunshine after the rain! The camaraderie is great in the unit. The staff have become closer to one another. We care about each other even more… We are all in this together.”

Originally from Valenzuela City in the Philippines, Shella is married to a physiotherapist. She arrived in Ireland in 2001, worked in Sligo then moved to Naas General Hospital in June 2003. She successfully completed a Post Graduate Diploma in Intensive Care Nursing in Trinity College in Dublin.

View the ABS-CBN article on Shella when the lockdown was just implemented in March 2020

Read Shella’s inspirational message for the 25th Migrant Worker’s Day Virtual Celebration by POLO-OWWA London on June 7, 2020.

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If you know of any Filipino in Ireland who are working beyond the call of duty to support the Irish community, please let us know. Thank you.

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