How Nurses Are Protecting Themselves During The Current Pandemic
Being a nurse has always been a job that requires a caring heart and giving nature but being a nurse during this challenging pandemic requires so much more. Throughout these uncertain times, our nurses bravely stand on the front lines healing, caring and gently encouraging others at this time of crisis.
But what about the nurses themselves, what can they do to keep healthy and protect themselves from contracting this extremely contagious disease? Although so much remains unknown regarding covid-19, there are some protective measures that are certain and should be practised religiously by everyone, especially those who work in a medical setting.
Firstly, avoid bringing the germs home by changing out of your scrub uniform and shoes before leaving work. Store the soiled scrubs in a bag until you are ready to launder and disinfect them. Disinfecting your cell phone frequently is also very important, as it can carry and transfer germs easily.
Maintaining Proper Hygiene
Frequent handwashing with soap and warm water is imperative to keep the germs away. This is true for the general public but is even more important for those working in a healthcare setting, even if they will not be coming in direct contact with a covid patient.
Trying to keep at least a 6-foot distance from those around you is key in preventing the spread of covid. When caring for patients, keeping a distance is not always feasible, but trying to keep a distance whenever possible can go a long way. And of course, it goes without saying that handshaking or any other physical contact should be strictly avoided at all times.
Wearing a Cloth Face Covering
Although there is much controversy surrounding the topic of wearing a cloth face covering or disposable face masks, according to the CDC wearing one in public will slow the spread of covid-19. It is questionable whether it is an effective protective measure to prevent the spread of covid-19, but a sure benefit of wearing it will remind you not to touch your nose or mouth, primary areas where germs can enter the body. A nurse caring for a covid patient will need to wear special PPE, personal protective equipment, which will include disposable gowns, gloves, eye protection, and a properly fitted N95 mask.
While all the above mentioned protective measures are of utmost importance, maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly will help keep your immune system strong, which in turn will help your body fight off any germs that may come it’s the way. Eating properly can be especially challenging for nurses who work long shifts but is something that can really make all the difference in staying healthy.
Maintaining Proper Mental Health
These times are scary. A deadly virus rages and doctors can’t make heads or tails of the how and why. There are more questions than answers, and no one knows when it will go away. For those working with those infected by this disease, the world can seem like a dark and gloomy place. Healthy people, who a few days previously were walking around and active are now relying on respirators to breathe. And there are not always enough supplies to go around. Keeping positive is essential to not just get through the day, but to get through this pandemic and remain healthy in both mind and body.
Here are Several Tips to Help Maintain a Positive Frame of Mind:
- Quit the news– stop watching and following the stories on the news. Hearing and seeing frightening stories do affect us, and not in a good way. You will informed of any important information. So have no fear that you will be left in the dark in terms of essential information.
- Write a gratitude journal– Focusing on the positive in our lives (and there is plenty!) will put us in a better frame of mind.
- Do something you enjoy in your free time.
- Get outdoors– Hiking, walking and general outdoor movement help boost your mood and improve mental health.
And above all, we all need to remember that we will get through this. And hopefully, be able to look back at this time and be proud of how we conducted ourselves and helped others get through this challenging time.
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