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What are the biggest challenges or issues that nurses face today during the pandemic and how do they manage to overcome it in an effective way?

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Patty’s Answer


I think the challenges for nurses during the pandemic are treating the public while keeping ourselves healthy at the same time and being able to have the most up to date information on the coronavirus and its transmission. There are many Americans who are in fear of catching it and want to be tested.

In my line of work (as a COVID-19 nurse advice line operator in Maryland) I talk to many people who are scared and misinformed. Being able to educate the public during the pandemic is a very important role as we need to make sure they are safe and unable to spread the virus on to others.

Clarifying a lot of the guidance, which is ever-changing, is also important. When testing the public for coronavirus at drive-thru testing sites it was challenging to have explain to the public why certain precautions had to be taken. Many think about the risks on themselves, but not many understood the risks to the healthcare staff. Once this was explained then the public was eager to comply.

The truth is we still don't know everything about the coronavirus. Lots of the information is changing frequently. Staying up to date on the latest information is critical. The nursing profession is sought after for advice and guidance. We need to make sure we are giving out the right information. We will continue to work alongside other health care professionals and give out the correct information.

All the Best,

Patty Born

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Daysi’s Answer

Hi Latasha,
Health care workers, during this Pandemic, have to overcome many challenges. I am going to name a few. I am a nurse but do not work in the hospital or clinic setting. However, few friends and family do. I learn of the struggles firsthand. First, the shortage of Personal Protective Equipment(PPE), to protect health care workers from being exposed to the virus, are a major issue. One set of PPE is provided and they may have to reuse all day and sometimes use it through out the work week. Second, the workload, due to the shortage of hospital staff and increase in patients seeking care is overwhelming. Nurses work frequently without a unit secretary and without an assistant to help with patient care in the ICU. In addition, the mental stress to the team of patients poor outcomes and dealing with loss of life at every shift is taking a toll on their mental health and emotional well being. For the health care team it is very difficult to witness the loss of life and complications on a daily basis.
These are just a few of the most important concerns, not only for nurse, but for the entire health care team. In the current times, i do not see or can not isolate one challenge specific to nurses. The challenges impact the entire health care team and organization.

The lack of PPE is managed in collaboration with family and friends. Reaching out to local businesses who may use PPE has been an effective approach in my area. Painting store business managers provide the PPE for the health care workers when they are in stock. In reference to the mental health of the staff, organizations have a team designated to support the hospital staff. Many times the individual nurse or health care staff many need additional interventions. My niece is a RN at the Covid ICU. She uses Horse therapy to help her cope and other animals to keep her happy, more then ever before.

I hope this helps with your questions.

Best Wishes,

Thank you Daysi for your magnificent response to my concerned question. I found many tips that was helpful on how nurses overcome many challenges as a team while battling the pandemic as you shared many with me. Getting myself prepared for the medical field in my near future, I needed to know what I might face while being a nurse & ways I will be able to overcome it. Latasha M.

Hi Latasha, Great you are asking questions and to know they help you. Now that you may have suggestions from a few health care providers in Career Village , Go and Shine!!! You are in a rewarding career with so many long years of rewarding and professional success. Daysi Daysi Fardales

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Estelle’s Answer

Fortunately, hospitals and clinics help nurses handle the pandemic by setting rules and providing personal protective equipment. I think one of the biggest challenges is just getting patients and families to understand the absolute importance of the simple rules of social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing. These easy steps make a huge impact in controlling spread of disease. I think educating people instead of confronting or lecturing is much more effective in changing their behaviors. Also, remember that the nurses have the hospitals backing them up when it comes to these new rules such as no visitor policies.