The outbreak of COVID-19 has been affecting most of the countries in the world. Yes, it is spreading at an exponential rate across the globe.
The WHO (World Health Organization) has declared this outbreak of the virus as a pandemic.
The director-general of the World Health Organization also shows some statistics that indicate the hospital staff and nurses have also been affected by this virus. And a large doctors and nursing staff lost their lives while treating the infected patients in Italy.
Till now, no specific treatment has been made to cure people of this pandemic virus. The only way to protect yourself is to maintain the distance from the infected person.
So far, the US health organization says that the symptoms are common as that of any respiratory disease which includes;
- Dry cough
- Breath shortness
- High fever
- Muscle fatigue
After you expose to the COVID-19, you may have symptoms in two days. However, the incubation period of this virus is 14 days. So, it is a possibility that the symptoms may take a two-week time to develop.
The Coronavirus has proven to be the fatal one, which further may raise certain complications like kidney failure, less efficiency in lungs, etc.
How have the nurses been affected by the virus?
The hospital staff, including doctors, nurses, and lab persons, have continuous exposure to infected persons.
And as this COVID-19 is a contagious virus, they have also been affected by the virus while treating these patients.
The US health organizations, International Council of Nurses and the World Health Organization have put the focus onto the healthcare staff nurses who are helping the patients in the affected areas.
In the past week, the WHO issued measurable outlines in support of the medical staff members who have been working in long shifts to treat patients of COVID-19.
“The ICN made a statement that many medical staff nurses are working in long stressful shifts and risking their lives. And their mental health, as well as physical health, is equally important so that they can provide their best facility to the patients.”
The New York Times also outlines some of the devastating situations of the nursing staff in China and other countries. To serve the patients, they keep on working with a lack of protective equipment.
These nurses are at high risk of infection. According to the WHO statement, nurses are finding it difficult to go to even bathrooms to clean them and maintain their hygiene.
Besides this, nurses also need to set themselves away from families in quarantine zones.
Managing severe COVID-19 patients is quite different from other infected persons. It is critical to minimize the risk for nurses to protect themselves from this contagious infection.
How does the nursing staff serve the patients with COVID-19?
Currently, the WHO (World Health Organization) and the CDC declared that no vaccine or any effective treatment have been made to protect people from COVID-19.
As for now, the CDC says that there are none other methods available than using some standard precautions for nurses while caring for their COVID-19 patients.
They need to follow the hospital’s protocol made by the World Health Organization.
In that case, they made some measurable guidelines for the nurses to keep themselves protected from this deadly virus while serving the corona patients.
Safety Step for Nurses by WHO
Wear protective gear-
Before coming in contact with the infected person, make sure that the nursing staff wears all the necessary protective gear, including a face mask, gloves, protective suits.
This will help them in keeping themselves safe from the infected person.
Hygiene of the nurses is the most important, said ICN. It is mandatory to maintain hygiene and sanitize themselves properly before and after coming in contact with the infectious person.
The physical well being comes from a healthier diet. Nurses have been working long shifts without taking proper food and nutrition. So, it is necessary to provide them a nutrition-rich diet so that they can work efficiently.
It is advisory by the WHO to have immune-boosting foods to the nurses for building immunity.
The ICN reported that the majority of nurses that are founded COVID-19 positive have direct exposure to the patient infected with this virus. Thus, a statement has been made that whenever a suspected case arrives at them, make sure to diagnose them by taking all the precautionary measures.
Prolonged exposure to the patients may prove to be fatal for nurses. That’s why the ICN federation of the US says nurses must work in shifts to minimize the risk of infection.
Other preventive measures for nurses
The CDC and World Health Organization said that no exact transmission mode of this virus has been confirmed till now. But in general, this spread is from the aerosols, coughing, sneezing and direct touching to the infected person.
So, at the time when nurses have to deal with infected patients, the CDC made an advisory statement to the nurses to take some airborne precautions. Also, the patient should be transferred to the AIIR immediately.
The WHO also made a statement that if any hospital doesn’t have an AIIR facility, then it is recommended to shift the patient to those rooms where the air recirculates after passing from the HEPA filtration.
Also, the nurses must use surgical masks while visiting these patients and adequately sanitize their hands with alcohol-based sanitizers and possibly wash hands frequently with soaps.
Nurses are also advised by the medical staff to use proper cautions when they use non-invasive ventilation and high-flow nasal oxygen due to the risk of contamination with the dispersal of the aerosol of the infected person.
Reminder for all
Above all, the WHO and US health organizations are also reminding everyone about this pandemic outbreak, whether medical staff, nurses, public, or health workers.
The most crucial thing that almost every individual needs to take care of is to keep them away from the infected person.
No medicine has been made till now!
So, the only way to prevent the spreading of this COVID-19 and prevent themselves is to keep practicing some preventive measures like keep sanitized, eat healthier, stay isolated from the infected person and wash your hands frequently.
“Prevention is better than cure.”
The pandemic outbreak of the Coronavirus threatened the world. And the statistics of infected persons and deaths keep on increasing. The medical staff and nurses are at high risk as they are coming directly in contact with the infectious person.
No cure has been made until now. So, the WHO initiated some above mentioned preventive measures which nurses should opt while serving the COVID-19 patients to keep themselves protected.