May 7, 2020

Amanda Cox: COVID-19 registrar

Amanda Cox is Northern Health’s COVID-19 registrar, but she and her team usually say this is a, “job without a job description,” with  the role constantly evolving over the last 10 weeks.

“It’s been everything from measuring chairs 1.5 metres apart on the day we opened our Fever Clinic, to moving from calling each patient with their results to creating a texting system. We also developed policies and procedures and provide clinical support and education to clinicians about testing and management of patients,” she said.

Amanda is a Physician Trainee, and this is her second year at Northern Health. Before COVID-19 started, she was doing two weeks relief and was then brought into the COVID-19 team to help Infectious Diseases for a, “couple of days,” – that became 10 weeks and counting.

“A lot has changed now in my day-to-day work, everyday there’s a new problem to be solved but it wouldn’t be possible without a huge focus on team work. There have been so many faces that can have contributed to our COVID-19 response, and it’s been great to meet the people involved.”

“Having a sense of humour also helps, especially in situations when you’ve just written a whole protocol, issued to all staff, only for it to be changed a few hours later,” she explained.

With a personal interest in Endocrinology, Amanda was due to sit her clinical exam at the end of this year, but that has been delayed until next year.

“We are all personally and professionally affected by this pandemic in one way or the other,” she added.

Amanda feels she only realised she was drawn to medicine when she studied  Biomedicine at Melbourne University, enjoying the more clinical aspects and decided to apply for medicine. She then studied Medicine in Sydney, worked and travelled in Ireland before moving back home to Melbourne in 2019.

As this is a very unusual time for everyone, Amanda says to take every day at a time.

“My secret to success is chocolate, wine and a bit of healthy couch time to unwind occasionally. We also have to appreciate the silver lining, as this is an opportunity for change and to also take a moment to slow down and smell the roses during isolation. While a pandemic is frightening, we still need to keep our spirits high and it’s been wonderful to see great sense of camaraderie, kindness and can-do attitude across the hospital and that has really lifted spirits. It’s been great to work in a place that is supportive and where we can still share a laugh about the absurdity of the situation we have found ourselves in sometimes” she added.

“There is no workplace that has been untouched by this pandemic and every industry will change from this, hopefully for the better” she added.