Nurse's agony DWTS' Grainne Gallanagh says she's 'cried herself to sleep' after working on frontline
“I have, like all nurses, I have come home and cried myself to sleep over certain situations"
Former Dancing With The Stars contestant Grainne Gallanagh has revealed the bleak times after working on the Covid frontline where she's cried herself to sleep.
The former Miss Universe Ireland answered Ireland’s Call last April and returned to work at Letterkenny Hospital just weeks after her stint on the RTÉ show.
The Donegal beauty has revealed that things can get so stressful working in the Covid era, that she often cries herself to sleep at night.
But she said that talking to her family and friends always helps her through the darker times.
“I have worked as a nurse for a number of years but this is a completely new scenario,” she told the Sunday World.
“Working with people and seeing sad and horrible situations or just having horrible days; I have had to deal with that when I became a nurse.
“But this is extremely tough. And not every day you come home and you feel OK.
“I have, like all nurses, I have come home and cried myself to sleep over certain situations.
“We are only human. You just learnt to adapt and come up with ways to cope. I like being around my family.
“If I have had a bad day I need to talk about it and vent. I have nurse friends and we talk to each other and once you have it off your chest you feel better.
“I am lucky, I live near the sea, and if I am overwhelmed that is the first place I will go because I know I will feel better there.
“But it is something that every nurse has to learnt to cope with in time.”
The model, 25, has learned to make the most of working in these challenging Covid-19 times.
Working on the frontline in Donegal General Hospital, she has seen first-hand, the steady rise in positive cases.
And as the nation embarks on a six-week lockdown period, Grainne believes it is time to stop the blame game and the finger pointing, and to try and see the bigger picture.
“It is so easy to point the finger and to villainise people,” she said.
“I feel like there has been a lot of that these days.
“There is a lot of blame and finger pointing towards younger people.
“This hasn’t been easy for anybody. It is not right to blame the young people.
“We need to stop hammering them and maybe try to educate them on ways that we can do it together.
“It is so easy to turn yourself in to a victim and blame someone else.
“We are all to blame because the virus spreads through people, whatever your age.”
As the numbers of the infected rise, so too does the pressure on the nursing staff.
And Grainne hopes that when the dust settles on this pandemic, that the Government does what is needed and rewards the medical profession with a pay hike.
“It is hard because every second in work counts and the patients don’t have any visitors, which is a right long day for them.
“We are doing everything we can to help them, because it is so easy to feel low.
“As a country we have very short memories.
“And the medical staff in this country, they kind of get acknowledged and then it goes away again.
“That’s not how it should be.
“Fingers crossed, when Covid goes away and things have settled down, the medical staff will still be working themselves to the bone every day.
“Clapping is great but it doesn’t pay the bills.
“And there should be so much more talking and consideration of pay rises for nurses in this country.
“There is so much that they do that they don’t get acknowledgment for.
“People come to the hospital because they are sick. You have to do so much for them.
“Literally I am running around the clock trying to do everything you can for them personally and medically.
“It is scary for the staff going in every day because we don't know how the day is going to go.
“We don’t know if the patients will have been exposed to Covid or if they have it.
“They don’t know if they are bringing it home to their families.
“And it is funny, if I am anywhere now, and they know I have been in a hospital and they don’t want anything to do with me.
“Nobody wants to be that close to anybody any more but when they see me coming, they cross the road.
“You don’t blame people because everyone is terrified of catching it.”
Grainne was speaking as part of the launch of Domino's Pizza Local Legends initiative.
She is calling on the people of Ireland to nominate frontline care workers one of whom will win a years supply of pizza for themselves, their family and their co-workers.
The new scheme builds on Domino’s biggest ever giveaway earlier in the year, which saw 200,000 slices of pizza donated to Feed The Heroes, Barnardos and to frontline workers.
“Domino's have started this initiative that is running until October 30 and they want people to nominate a frontline hero,” Grainne added.
“It doesn’t have to be someone in healthcare. It can be a guard, a teacher, anyone who has gone the extra mile for their community.
“It is an anonymous nomination and that would really make someone's day, and anything that cheers someone up these days is worth it.”