NursesNOW Roundup April 2020
Looking to keep your finger on the pulse of the nursing industry? Check out this month’s special edition Q&A Nurse’s Roundup.
Nurses are working around the clock as they combat the coronavirus pandemic. Read below to hear from nurses on the front line answering some most frequently asked questions in response to this global problem.
If a person feels they need to see a doctor or go to and ER for a non COVID-19 reason, what should they do? What is the safest way for someone to seek medical attention during these times?
“The safest way to access recommendations from a healthcare professional right now during the COVID-19 outbreak would be to utilize teleheath appointments for face to face interactions. Most larger physician offices and even some smaller offices have started doing this during the pandemic to decrease the amount of visits and exposure risk. It’s like FaceTime or Skype but with an actual healthcare professional. Also, urgent cares are available to utilize instead of going to the emergency room for less emergent things. Obviously, if it is an emergency or life threatening or your breathing is compromised, then you should absolutely go to the emergency department. Please continue to social distance, stay home if you are not essential, and make sure to stay healthy!”
Alexandria Caruso, BSN, RN
People are being saturated with information and statistics whether it be from news outlets, social media, and or politicians. Where are the best places for people to receive reliable, up-to-date information?
“As a hospital RN, I receive daily updates at work with the most recent COVID precautions. These precautions change frequently due to our ever changing understanding of the virus. They are mostly utilized by staff in direct contact with COVID patients. To stay up to date on ways to protect yourself from COVID, I would recommend utilizing either the guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) or the World Health Organization (WHO.) Otherwise, continue to either watch the news or get your updates via social media as you typically would. Remember to check sources and don’t fall victim to sensationalist or clickbait articles. It’s easy to get glued to the TV or your phone while you’re stuck at home during the quarantine. In order to maintain your sanity and find some sense of normalcy, I think it’s just as important to turn the TV off and put the phone down in exchange for getting outside or picking up your favorite hobby again. Just make sure the updates you are choosing to receive are from credible sources such as government updates and credible news articles or journals.”
Peter Carmody-Burns BSN, RN
It is now being advised that people should be wearing some sort of mask or covering when they leave their houses. We know that N95 masks should be reserved for healthcare professionals. What type of mask or material should everyday people wear and in what situations should they wear them?
“The best advice is to stay at home. The recommendation is to only go out when absolutely necessary like to the food store or pharmacy. Social gatherings should be avoided at all costs. Please do not come outside or be around people if you are feeling any symptoms: cough, short of breath, fever, fatigue. You may also be contagious if you aren’t sick.. you could be a person that does not get the virus but are a carrier. If someone should have to go out, the CDC is recommending a face mask. Healthcare workers would appreciate if the general public does not wear the N95 or surgical masks as we are at the end of our supply. A cloth face mask is sufficient for going out. It should fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face, be secured with ties or ear loops, include multiple layers of fabric, allow for breathing without restriction, and be able to be washed without damage or change to shape. Another key point with wearing the masks is taking it off properly. The biggest thing is to not to touch any areas of your face while taking it off and to IMMEDIATELY wash your hands after taking the mask off. Do not touch any part of your face after removing the mask without washing your hands first. Hand washing has never become so important.”
Elizabeth Zuccarelli, RN, BSN, Infection Prevention
What are some ways I can keep physically and emotionally healthy while I am social distancing? How can I exercise if I’m stuck inside the house all day? How can I combat feeling lonely or isolated?
“Being in the healthcare field during a pandemic can be a scary and anxiety provoking time. It’s especially important to maintain both your mental stability and physical health in order to provide care for those who are highly contagious and critically ill. Some ways that I keep physically and emotionally healthy while continuing to follow social distancing mandates include maintaining an exercise routine, eating healthy, and catching up with friends. Living alone, I find it easy to become physically and mentally under-stimulated. To try and combat quarantine blues I recommend starting your day off with a home workout, or a quick jog outside. Exercise certainly makes me feel less guilty for the amount of snacking that often times takes place when one finds himself losing interest in the latest episode of whatever Netflix has pressured me into. I have also cleaned every surface of my apartment. When that was finished, I found myself going over those cleaned areas again with my spray bottle and dust buster. Cleaning can become a very therapeutic task for many of us during this time. Next issue with quarantine is – what am I going to eat? Prior to the social distancing norm I was unaware of how much I actually ate out. I am now using this new found time to begin trying to cook up new meals and experiment with things that I haven’t ever made before (my favorite has been perfecting the poached egg for a breakfast sandwich).This time is also perfect for getting back in touch with people who you may not have been in regular contact with prior to the COVID-19 pandemic as the result of a busy work schedule. There are so many amazing new apps that allow you to virtually connect with others in various interactive ways. We’re now able to play trivia games on FaceTime while simultaneously showing our friends we have time for them. There are a variety of apps out there, my personal favorite being Houseparty. An advantage to this app is that it let’s you bring a large group of friends onto one screen. Using this time to get in touch is a win-win. We know we’ll all be extremely busy when this is over, so chatting with friends may not be on the top of our to do list when that time comes. It also provides the much needed social interaction we’re all missing, and can alleviate the anxieties that you and the people on the other side of the screen are enduring during this difficult time.”
Zachary Bearint, MSN CRNA
Many people want to thank, help, or donate to nurses and other healthcare professionals? What can they do that would be helpful?
Nurses and other healthcare professionals are thankful to people who have been showing us all support since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Honestly, they very best thing anyone can do for us is to stay home and do their own part in flattening the curve. Following the directives of the CDC is the best present or thank you we can get. Staying home will save lives. Check out my advice and infographic on Staying Healthy During COVID-19.
Lauren DiMatteo, BSN, RN
Hear more from Nurse Lauren in our Wellness Wednesday posts.
Should I wear gloves if I’m leaving my house to go shopping? Will gloves protect me from the virus?
Watch Molly Lixey, RN as she demonstrates how cross-contamination works whether you are wearing gloves or not.
Thank You from all of us at HealthcareNOW Radio
Year of the Nurse
Remember that the year 2020 has been declared the Year of the Nurse. Thank you to all nurses who are currently on the frontline everyday fighting COVID-19.
The American Nurses Association has declared 2020 as The Year of The Nurse. In honor of the 200th anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth, the goal is to encourage inclusivity and participation of all nurses, including nurse midwives, in this landmark year of activities.