COVID-19 nurse
Nurses are on the front lines risking exposure while limiting the spread and symptoms of the coronavirus. (Green Shoot Media photo)

In December 2019, a devastating coronavirus, now known as COVID-19, surfaced in Wuhan, China, causing mass illness throughout the country.

The global pandemic has led to nationwide lockdowns in Italy, major-league sporting cancellations and uncertainty throughout world stock markets. On March 14, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency regarding the coronavirus.

Medical professionals, including nurses, are on the front lines risking exposure while limiting the spread and symptoms of the virus. The National Nurses United union urges employers to keep their health experts safe by incorporating necessary protocols.

» Employers shall clearly communicate with all health-care workers, including notifying nurses when there is a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case.

» Facilities should be prepared for a surge of patients with potential or confirmed cases of the virus, which should include how to isolate and care for patients, along with how to provide safe practices for medical staff.

» Employers shall conduct a thorough investigation after a COVID-19 patient is identified, ensuring the staff who were exposed are identified and notified. Nurses who faced exposure shall be placed on precautionary leave for at least 14 days without losing their pay or benefits.

» Nurses and other health-care workers must also be provided with efficient protective gear and any available education and training that may help experts understand the outbreak more efficiently.

How Nurses Can Stay Safe

Since much is still unknown about how COVID-19 spreads, nurses and others in the medical field are at an increased risk of exposure.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges all nursing professionals to wear properly fitting masks and protective gloves while attending to patients.

Help a Nurse

The coronavirus is a widespread pandemic that is causing major corporations to close their doors temporarily. As a citizen, you can help the medical professionals in your area by listening to guidelines from your state’s officials.

Many are prohibiting events that are expected to draw over a specific number of people. To help lessen your exposure and need for medical assistance, avoid visiting high-traffic areas where the risk of obtaining the virus is enhanced.