International Nurses Day 2020: How nurses are contributing during the COVID-19 pandemic
The theme of International Nurses Day 2020 is Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Nursing the World to Health.
Nurses have been the stars for this pandemic across the globe for their exemplary courage, dedication, and perseverance. The theme of International Nurses Day 2020 is Nurses: A Voice to Lead - Nursing the World to Health. As we send blessings wrapped with gratitude to our present-day Florence Nightingales across the globe, let’s also acknowledge their enormous role in this pandemic.
The role of the nursing fraternity is more important than ever during the current pandemic. Nurses all over the world have been tirelessly involved in the care of COVID-19 patients and are focused on prioritizing infection prevention and control among patients, attenders, and healthcare providers across all the units within the hospital.
In the recent past, we have already witnessed the many ways that nurses have contributed, adapted, and taken the lead in tackling the pandemic. Many nurses are key pillars in updating the management on interventions through national and international webinars which were introduced specifically during the COVID-19 period. However, that’s only their role behind the scenes. Because of their work on the frontlines, the care providers (ones taking care of these patients) are at a high risk of contracting the coronavirus since their exposure is high.
When nurses come in for their shift, a lot of emotions come into the picture. As a caregiver, the profession requires taking care of the patients selflessly as someone who is at the core of infection prevention - the slightest error can end up making things go south for the hospital and the family as well.
And yet, the fear of contracting the illness is constant. While caring for COVID-19 patients, many nurses get exposed and need to quarantine, which is an additional mental and physical toll on an individual. While the medical fraternity struggles to manage testing kits and personal protective equipment (PPE), care providers work tirelessly to aid the patients irrespective of all the fears and shorthand of resources.
We have enabled our nurses with the best knowledge and skills to manage themselves in these testing times, provided them with the option of seeking help on mental health issues from experts. Even the simplest of the gestures of being there with the team, a little pat on the back and listening to their fears and anxieties has helped them in sailing through. The plan is focused on staying connected, improving, and sharing awareness on the prevention of the spread of infection - and also emphasizing on the individual safety of the nurses. We have intensified the online sessions and campaigns, to highlight life skills and the functional aspects of COVID-19 management.
While the leading response to the pandemic has been the fear of imminent danger due to information/misinformation circulating all around, nurses are at the front line of communication, be it debunking the myths, counselling the patients and their families and even handling end-of-life care.
We are collaborating with the clinical team, sharing views and actionable steps in management meetings for COVID-19 response. It is indeed a triple role for a nurse: managing patients, COVID-19 response and caring for self.
This article was written by Mrs Minimole John, Chief of Nursing, Fortis Escorts Heart Institute.
For more information, read our article on How to avoid getting COVID-19 infection if you are a healthcare worker.
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