Daily challenges of registered nurses have changed in many ways since the coronavirus pandemic has swept across the world.
Major changes in how to handle mask usage and the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has been an ongoing issue – which continues to change at a rapid pace.
At first, everybody was to wear a mask when you were in the hospital inpatient settings, then there was a shift towards sewn masks in order to save on surgical masks.
UV light has been used to sanitize N95 respirator masks so they can be used for days instead of just one use. That same UV light can be used to sanitize rooms to ensure no new coronavirus will be on surfaces throughout the room before switching to a new patient.
As the pandemic has continued over time, masks and gloves have become increasingly available, but still remain a concern for nurses.
Many facilities have adjusted nurse shifts to be helping hands in the intensive care unit (ICU) to assist with severely ill patients, including performing activities such as assisting with teeth brushing, face washing, and baths.
Increased communication is essential. Many nurses are struggling with their own fears in dealing with patients during this pandemic. At the same time they need to encourage family members of patients to stay home to help avoid further potential exposure, as well as ease their fears and keep them updated on their loved ones.
The Front Line
In the end, we all need to remember that nurses are on the front lines of this tragic pandemic. While we rely on their services and support, they still need ours!