2020 is to be the year of the Nurse and Midwife as named by the World Health Organization. Now this virus named Coronavirus has focused attention on health care systems.
Namely we learned a lot from SARS of the early 2000’s related to communication, supply chains, travel impact on transmission, and the rights of citizens when told to enter quarantine for the public good.
The provincial association and unions have been diligent in keeping nurses informed, ideally nurses have been proactive and ensured their N95 mask fitting is up to date. Communication to patients and families, like always, is paramount so the public understands why there are some people in personal protective equipment and others are different or have none. There are limited resources when one considers isolation rooms, even with cohorting patients, especially negative pressure rooms. Newer hospitals incorporated post SARS design features i.e. ambulatory and inpatient areas separate, triage can occur outside hospital walls, glass panels to protect staff when observing patient, and Infection Prevention and Control teams are also key to managing a complex, evolving situation.
I mentioned health care systems being a focus and from this we have seen how Public Health officers provide epidemiology knowledge, liaise with national and international agencies i.e. WHO and they provide the overview on who has been tested, results status, and analyzing patterns.
The tried and true for citizens includes sneezing into your sleeve or tissue, wash your hands, wash your hands, did I mention wash your hands, if you’re sick stay home. No one at work, school, hospital visitors especially need to see you; stay home. Coronavirus is considered a droplet transmission meaning if you touch a surface with sneeze or coughed material you risk exposure. Airborne is like measles you breathe and you could acquire the infection.
Sorry folks if health care professionals sound imprecise, we are, our environment has many variables and we have the knowledge and know how to access it, and share it with you. That said if you wear a mask find out how to place it on and off, how long to wear it, and carry hand sanitizer to ensure your hand hygiene is stellar.
Well that’s it for now, let’s hope we can really celebrate 2020, so far it’s been a long, long January and February is equally awash with political, social, and individual issues far and wide. Namaste
Florence Nightingale (Notes On Nursing, 1859) on Infection Control
“True nursing ignores infection, -except to prevent it.” (p. 20)
Nightingale ibid Patient Safety
“It may seem a strange principle to enunciate as the very first requirement in a Hospital that it should do the sick no harm.”
Registered Nurse Storyteller, Healer, Scribe, Transformational Leader