‘Frightened children’: Frontline nurse speaks on COVID-19




A Queensland nurse and mother working on the COVID-19 frontline says her nurturing skills have helped when treating anxious children - who often present at the local testing clinic.

There has been much speculation on whether children are carriers of the coronavirus, and registered nurse Nellie Phillips, who works in Logan,  said the issue was top of mind for many families.



Logan Hospital COVID-19 Screening Clinic registered nurse Nellie Phillips and Dr John Wei.
Logan Hospital COVID-19 Screening Clinic registered nurse Nellie Phillips and Dr John Wei.


"A number of the people we are seeing each day are children," Ms Phillips said.

"They are frightened or unsure about what is going on."

Ms Phillips said patients were relieved they could have their families screened and ask the questions they wanted to ask.

"They feel safe here to ask us what they want to ask without judgment," she said.

According to State Government figures this week, 42 cases of coronavirus had been confirmed for Logan (April 22) with 25 detected from overseas.

Eight were infected locally with known contact while another six were recorded with no known contact. One case is currently still being investigated.





In Queensland the statistics show 14 children aged zero to nine have been infected with coronavirus - eight girls and six boys.

For those aged 10 to 19, the number was higher with 35 detections; 15 female and 20 male. The highest age bracket for Queensland was those aged 20 to 29 with 236; women making up 150 of those followed by those aged 60 to 69 with 166.

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in QLD

As a registered nurse, Ms Phillips is part of a team of eight nurses, two doctors and four administration officers who all volunteered for their roles.

Ms Phillips said working at the Logan clinic was a unique opportunity to help the community and because she was trained in the children's ward she felt her skills in caring for children had proved beneficial.


Ms Phillips also said many in the clinic were parents too and despite concerns she was confident procedures and protocols inside the clinic were keeping them, and their families at home, safe.

Dr John Wei said his clinic staff cared for each other and were often checking on each other's general wellbeing.

He said when it came to patients, they were grateful for the work being done by the team.

"A lot of people coming to the clinic are anxious; this is something they haven't seen before, but they are very appreciative of what we are doing," he said.

"They are thankful we are here."

Screening clinic nurse unit manager Kellie Graf said she was proud of the team at Logan, which was working hard to care for the community.

"The team is very grateful for the support we are receiving from the community and that people are listening to the 'stay-at-home' message - which is making our job easier."

Originally published as 'Frightened children': Frontline nurse speaks on COVID-19