How can nurses be supported during a Covid-19 pandemic?
How can nurses be supported during a Covid-19 pandemic? The COVID-19 pandemic has hit us all hard. The pandemic has pushed health workers on multiple levels to face the crisis. The sheer volume of patients that healthcare workers deal with is like never before.
Due to the infectious nature of COVID-19, frontline caregivers risk their lives every day to treat and care for patients. With multiple shifts and workloads, nurses can’t even go home to their families just because they can’t put their loved ones at risk.
The theme of this year’s World Health Day was particularly the support of nurses and midwives. Although Word Heath Day is over, the challenges for nurses are endless.
Planning and supporting nurses should always remain a priority for community and health leaders. Here are some ways you can support the nurses during the pandemic.
Attention to emotional and mental well-being
The outbreak put a considerable strain on the nurses. Before the outbreak, most health centers were understaffed and the nurses had to work multiple shifts. Health workers have seen countless deaths and care for high-risk patients during the pandemic.
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) notes that during the COVID-19 pandemic, “nurses experience pressure, anxiety, exhaustion, isolation, and persistent emotional trauma.”
Nurses are likely to have strong emotions (fear, anger, worry) during COVID-19. Insufficient time to be with loved ones, fear of infection and loss of patients during treatments will be extremely difficult for them. You may have a conflict with the team, health managers, or even the health center’s protocols. As a team all working on the same thing, the most important thing is to be patient and support them through these difficult times.
Here the psychological needs come to the fore.
- Health workers need to ensure that they are provided with essentials such as food, drink, adequate rest and adequate sleep. You need to regularly monitor the nurses’ work breaks and wellbeing.
- Provide the best protective equipment and training in dealing with patients dealing with anxiety and panic.
- Encourage the nurses to regularly share their problems with their managers. Officials need to emphasize the importance of communication between the team and support one another.
- Encourage an emerging system for teammates to get to know each other. Since nurses on different shifts may work with different employees, proper communication is vital to ensure that nurses are welcome and not overwhelmed. This can also create a learning environment and reduce the psychological impact on their mental health.
- Encourage nurses to also report workplace violence physically or verbally. Hospitals must implement a zero-tolerance policy for such incidents and establish a strict code of conduct to educate and address such disruptive behaviors.
As a community, we must appreciate the nurses for all the hard work they do to put their lives at risk. We have seen many campaigns showing gratitude to nurses with campaigns like this “Operation thank a nurse” and hashtag campaigns like #ThankYouNurses. But over time, these gratitude campaigns have waned or forgotten over time while still working shift after shift to save the patients. Social support is invaluable and we can show gratitude in a number of ways.
- Special hours for nurses to give them priority access to shopping. We saw brands like Walmart and Costco come up with a similar campaign that has garnered a lot of attention over the past few months.
- Special discounts for nurses as encouragement for the great job they are doing on the front lines.
- Help nurses who are hungry or in need of financial assistance ‘GoFundMe’ Programs
- Childcare programs for nurses who are parents and cannot find time to look after their children
- Wear masks and follow the distancing. Because nothing helps more than having fewer patients come to you due to COVID-19. As a responsibility to the nurses, we must make sure we are following all COVID-19 guidelines to stop the spread of viruses from our end.
- Panic health checks are becoming more common for symptoms unrelated to COVID-19. We need to take care of our health and encourage those in our circle to stay home and only go when necessary. Use the ambulance service only if necessary. This can help reduce the nurses’ workload.
Make it normal
The last thing the nurses want is people to use as a COVID19 resource to get the latest news and updates. The pandemic is already a stressful time and healthcare workers are getting fewer breaks than often. Instead, it can be so easy to join them over tea or watch their favorite shows together to lift their spirits and shake off the day.
Remember, social distancing applies to everyone. Just because nurses work closely with patients doesn’t mean you should exclude them from your social life. Keep in touch with them and include them in your social circle.
Career development in nursing
In these troubled times, we know that nurses are understaffed in most hospitals. With registered nurses growing 15% over the next decade, careers in the nursing industry are growing rapidly and become one of the consistently high-profile professions in America over the years.
Healthcare leaders need to promote the importance of nursing and nurse the development of the nurse profession in the country.
Nurses are more than just a high-income wage. You can work with interesting people and, above all, have a lasting impact on people’s lives. You can get degrees from institutions like Labouré College that can help you build your dream career in nursing with an equally rewarding salary.
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How can nurses be supported during a Covid-19 pandemic?