The festive period is one of the busiest times of the year in the accident and emergency department at Blackpool Victoria Hospital with staff under even more pressure than normal.
The Gazette has been catching up with the hard working staff for a series of features about how to help ease the strain. Here, Louisa Gregson talks to a dedicated staff nurse.
Nurses operate under immense stress and staff do all they can to prevent unnecessary admissions and to get patients to where they need to be as quickly and easily as possible.
Staff nurse Chloe Dudley, 28, says no two days are ever the same in the accident and emergency department.
The nurse, from Poulton, qualified seven years ago and has worked in the emergency department for three years.
She says she never stops learning, is always run off her feet and is continuously faced with fresh challenges. But in her own words: “Would not want to work anywhere else.”
Every day 200 to 300 patients visit the department and there can be 80 people waiting to be seen at one time.
Staff at the hospital say some of these people will not need to be there, but everyone has to be seen and their condition assessed.
Chloe says: “You are working with different ages, genders, medical conditions and it is always unexpected.
“It could be a cardiac arrest, a seizure or a foreign body in the eye.”
Chloe, who had just performed CPR on a man in cardiac arrest before speaking with The Gazette said: “You are so exposed to everything, you see such a variety of things.
“As a nurse you look after people with all different conditions and my nursing confidence and knowledge has increased so much.
“When you are dealing with so many conditions you learn a lot about them.
“We have emergency situations every day without fail.
“It’s rewarding - very rewarding.”
Sometimes Chloe’s role means she has to deliver bad news to families when patients fail to make it.
And she has to deal with people succumbing to their illness.
She says: “You just get used to it and work through it.
“All the staff are lovely and we all support one another.
“I am very passionate about the job and I enjoy the excitement and the buzz.
“I would not want to work anywhere else.”