Cohorted are committed to champion personalities who play an essential role in creating a positive impact on our everyday lives. In the run-up to the official launch of Cohorted’s ‘Essentials Edit’, our Music Artist Beauty Ambassador Elle L will be interviewing special guests, who are taking the lead in the emergency response to events taking place in 2020.
Our first guest is TV Personality and NHS Frontline Nurse, Sarah Mulindwa. Sarah is best known for her role on E4’s ‘Sex Clinic’. She is also the former Fashion Editor of 1883 Magazine and most recently went back to her role as a trained Nurse to support frontline efforts, fighting the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Elle L In Conversation with TV Personality and NHS Frontline Nurse, Sarah Mulindwa
Part 1: The Pandemic
Sarah, the world is in a state of change right now, what has changed most for you so far in 2020?
The way I work has changed the most in 2020. Pre COVID-19, my life consisted of working more closely with others, whether it was being on the set of photoshoots, in meetings or attending press events. This experience has pushed me to think outside the box in how I engage with others and still get my work done. I’ve actually found that I’m almost just as busy, except I get to work more from the comfort of home, through Zoom meetings and via podcast interviews. A lot of my work in front of the camera is at a standstill for now, so I’m filling that time with interacting more online which has certainly improved my IT skills.
How has working back on the front line of the NHS differed from being on TV and Radio? Were you nervous? How did you prepare?
Returning to the frontline for the NHS has been quite the experience, it’s been nearly ten years since I worked in a hospital environment. I was SO nervous to go back. Initially, my biggest worry was worried that I would have lost all my nursing skills. There have been many changes since I was last a full-time Nurse, but the transition was smoother than expected – thank God! I prepared by doing a refresher course and lots of online training. Everybody was so warm, welcoming and helpful that within a few days in, it was like I’d never left.
Is there anyone act of kindness you’ve recently experienced that stands out to you?
The number of food donations, volunteers and everybody in the wider community coming together was so humbling. The biggest act was that my accommodation was taken care of by Roman Abramovich, so I could be near the Chelsea and Westminster hospital (where I was working). He kindly allowed his two hotels to be used by the NHS staff who lived more than an hour commute from the Trust. This meant I did not have the worry of travelling. I had a seven-minute commute to work and could get back to my hotel in time to do the things that made me feel better following a shift. A good skincare routine was one of them!
Did you find time to self-care during the peak of the pandemic?
Spending twelve hours a day in PPE isn’t great for your skin. I really took the time to look after my skin by keeping it hydrated and giving it the attention it needed. I was kindly gifted so many beauty products, including stuff from skincare brand Curel UK- their range is great for sensitive skin (like mine) so it was exactly what I needed! I also received a lovely gift bag from LOVE magazine, that had lots of different beauty treats including face masks. I’m also excited to experience the upcoming Cohorted Essentials Edit, as it sounds like something everybody needs right now, especially as the weather is getting hotter, my skin needs an extra boost of TLC.
How vital is the role of PPE in dealing with a pandemic?
I can’t stress this point enough, PPE is so vital in controlling the pandemic! I was Nursing patients that tested positive and they were very much symptomatic. I had the constant worry of contracting the virus or passing it on if I became infected. My tests have come back negative and so I’m happy to say the PPE really does work! As I’m writing this, PPE is now mandatory on public transport, but I’ve been somebody who has needed to wear it at all times. I’ve been up close and personal with the virus and I can say that it really does make a huge difference. Hand washing and sanitising is also a big part of controlling the virus, so I encourage people to remain vigilant with this.
As per new government guidelines, do you think our readers should be wearing facial coverings in public?
Absolutely! Most especially when travelling or when meeting others, it is so important and literally saves lives! We now know how easily the virus can be spread so yes, please definitely follow the government guidelines. There are some really helpful tutorials online and masks included with the Cohorted Essentials Edit.
What was the biggest challenge you faced?
The biggest challenge by far was when some patients didn’t survive the virus and having to break the news to families over the phone as they couldn’t visit due to the strict but necessary restrictions. That never gets easier.
What has been your most recent proud moment?
My proudest moments would always be when we discharge the many patients that we did and just seeing how the NHS pulled through during an unprecedented time!
In 3 words, how would you describe your feelings for the future as we begin to re-emerge from Lockdown?
Hope. Love. Kindness. I really hope and feel like life will be put into perspective post lockdown. I think we will value our relationships a lot more and not take each other for granted.
What are you most looking forward to on the other side of 2020?
On the other side of 2020, I’m most hopeful for a kinder world and the realisation amongst us all that we are all human before we are anything else. Coronavirus should teach us that we are all connected and our daily actions affect us all in some way, whether we are conscious of it or not.
Thank you so much for sharing your experiences with us today.