Registered Nurses always faced many challenges in their daily routine. It is a job that requires managing patients’ care; both physical and emotional. Nurses are there to help the patient communicate with the doctor and monitor the patient as needed, in addition to administering any medication, and, of course, love and care. Now, as Covid-19 came about, their job has changed drastically; from a steady day of overcoming obstacles and seeing many successes, to literally risking their lives every day at work.
Dealing with Fear and Anxiety
Nurses started to fear for their lives from the very beginning of Covid-19. As one nurse said, “I cried on my way to work each morning, afraid that I would get COVID-19 and die, or worse, infect my friends. That really scared me.” With the limited knowledge everyone just panicked and locked themselves at home, but nurses were needed more than ever with the hospitals being swamped and were forced to face the virus.
The best way to deal with these new anxieties is to be sure to eat, exercise and have a lot of positive self-talk. Tell yourself you are doing your best to protect yourself, and know that you are a soldier and hero in this battle. Being aware of the situation can already relax you. Finding a support group and talking about your fears and challenges can go along way as well. You will feel more validated and gain great tips from one another.
It used to be nurses wore scrubs. In some settings, they wore gloves, scrub caps, and face masks. Now with Covid-19 that just will not do. They must be fully armed to face the virus and protect themselves. Many scrubs for men and scrub caps are hard to find due to the increased need but manufactures are trying their best to keep up with the demand. Nurses are required now to always wear face masks and the majority need to wear gowns, face shields, goggles, and hats at all times. This additional gear is hard to walk around with the entire day and is a hard adjustment for RN’s and medical professionals.
Use of Telemedicine
The new popular use of Telemedicine to help patients connect with their doctors and providers without any physical contact was introduced for patients at risk of being exposed to germs and viruses and for those who cannot physically come to an appointment.
Nurses are now helping to manage non-urgent cases. Many patients just have regular questions which they can answer. Nurses are keeping those patients at home- and this enables doctors to focus on the critical patients who need care most.
There are also Telemedicine facilities where nurses can monitor a patient constantly and send that information to a doctor for review. This most definitely benefits the patient with early detection and quality care.
These are just a few ways that the face of nursing has changed due to Covid-19. It helps that the world is recognizing them as heroes, and becoming aware that nurses need to be appreciated. We have to keep up the praise and help boost our nurses and medical professionals and acknowledge their hard work so that they can continue helping millions of people fight off this virus. Let us not forget their kindness, and that they are literally risking their lives for complete stranger.