With visiting banned during lockdown, hospital patients relied more than ever on friendly, familiar faces coming in and out of the wards every day.
And Katie Irwin, a domestic in Ninewells Hospital, was one who definitely managed to raise a smile.
She said: “The cleaning never stops here.
“If we have a slippy floor situation at all, after I have dealt with it I like to dance on it to make sure it’s okay.
“The patients sometimes laugh at that, but that’s how I check it.”
During lockdown, like all NHS workers, Katie and her domestic colleagues worked extremely hard to help stop the spread of coronavirus.
Katie, who has worked at the hospital for five years, said: “There was a lot to think about with Covid-19.
“But really the only thing that changed for us was we weren’t allowed to use some of the machines because we didn’t know what we would be bringing up with it.
“We have to wear an apron now as well in the green zones.
“When the patients weren’t getting any visitors they liked to talk to us when we came onto the wards.
“One lady was here for six weeks so when she went home we got her a teddy bear for her to cuddle.
“She said she was really going to miss seeing us.”
She told the Tele what a typical shift for a domestic entails.
“As soon as I come in in the mornings I set up my trolley, wet all the mops and get all the bags ready,” Katie said.
“I clean all the sinks, the corridors, the disposals and all the different wee rooms – even though I have been here for five years I still get lost and don’t always know where things are.
“Once I have done all that cleaning the utility people all get together to help each other with the beds and dusting the tables and the lights, and we give the beds a little tickle as well, and then we mop the floors.
“I do wards 33, which is the stroke ward, and 26, which is now all surgery, including all the side rooms.
“Every fortnight we do scrubs, which is where we have to pull everything in the wards to the other side of the room, raise the patients in their beds and clean underneath and into the headboards.
“If you are quick you can have it done in half an hour, but it can take people an hour to do each bay.”
She continued: “It is so important the hospital is kept clean.
“I am very proud to be here, you feel a lot of satisfaction when the place looks good.
“I love my job – but you also have to be thick skinned because it can be hard – you can’t be a snowflake about it.
“And it can sometimes be difficult because we have strict time slots to stick to.
“You also get to meet a lot of people in this job, particularly up in the stroke ward where the patients are there for quite a while.
“One called me a wee star the other day and you always get people asking if I can come and do their house for them.
“We have quite a laugh.”