The Corona Virus pandemic has indeed brought pressure to the healthcare system and has considerably overwhelmed the limited resources we have. Nurses, being the front liners alongside the doctors, allied health professionals, and non-clinical workers in each healthcare facility, still continue with their daily work despite the risks involved to provide the best possible care to patients during this trying time.
Being nurses ourselves, we feel your anxiety, your worries of the heightened risk of contracting the virus through direct interaction with patients. We understand how troubled you are thinking of your loved ones but you have to carry on. We recognise your struggle to comprehend with the uncertainty that every shift may bring. It is our duty. The pledge we have made in this profession which makes us who we are as Nurses.
This is probably the most challenging moment the entire world has encountered for decades and it is undeniably the worst scenario every nation has faced. This is war and we are the soldiers. Masks, visor, gloves and gowns along with our invaluable skills (technical and non-technical) are our weapons. We commend you for your service but we also want to stress to protect yourselves at all times. We are not invincible and all we can do is to take extra precautions.
There is no doubt that the influx of infected patients will increase the burden of our work and we just need to prepare for the worst! We, nurses, are known for our flexibility, adaptability and critical thinking skills. We know that we can get through this and we will provide care aiming to achieve the best possible outcome for our community. Whilst this matter seems to be escalating each day, we can employ several measures to protect ourselves whilst dealing with this fatal illness.
1. DO NOT PANIC but keep yourself INFORMED and up to date with the guidelines and policies set by your department about dealing with suspected and confirmed cases. Attend simulations, trainings and prepare for new skills that you may need whilst caring for a Covid-19 patient. NMC is aware that the nursing workforce may be stretched thin and may need to practice beyond their scope of competency.
2. BE PROACTIVE on seeking information that you need to know to increase your preparedness should you encounter a Covid-19 case. Broaden your knowledge on all the changes that had been implemented in your department and the strategies and modifications involved in treating infected patients.
3. Keep GOOD HYGIENE at all times by washing your hands extensively. We can't stress this enough. Know how to use personal protective equipment appropriately for your optimal protection. Follow the standards on donning and doffing PPE as well as other infection control protocols.
4. Always keep your working area CLEAN and ensure necessary checks are carried out. DISINFECT items that are regularly used as well as those often touched by everyone ie. doorknobs, drawers. Make sure you immediately bath or shower before or as soon as you come home from work.
5. LOOK AFTER YOURSELVES by eating healthy foods, keeping yourself hydrated and sleeping well to build your immune system to fight the virus. Although this is a strong strain of virus, your body may be able to cope if you are in your best shape. So don't neglect yourself and prioritise self-care!
6. SUPPORT EVERYONE in your department and other multi-disciplinary team in this difficult time. Respect each other and reassure other colleagues that may be apprehensive about the situation.
7. SUPPORT any future DEPARTMENTAL AND TRUST WIDE PLANS to intervene with Covid-19 that may be ever-changing as new evidence and studies may arise. Actively engage with the training necessary to keep you equipped and informed.
8. Practice PROFESSIONALISM at all times and the DUTY OF CARE you have sworn in your oath as a nurse.
We wish you all the best and when this is over, every citizen will remember your sacrifices and your worth in protecting and preserving the well-being of humanity. Thank you again for your hard work!
Tags: corona virus, covid-19, nurses, frontliners, key workers, OFW, UK Nurses, Pinoy Nurses, Filipino Nurses