How Protective And Prepared Are You As A Nurse During This COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis?

Nurses are not just healthcare workers alone, they have been trained to make it their nature, with their meekly tender on motion, blissfully showing the sicks their affection, irrespective of their conditions, a vow they pledged during their induction into the noble profession! 

They are known as saviors, reliever of all souls. They are mentors, and ever conscious healthcare workers, patients healthcare is their venture, health education is their chore. their job is their call. 

A job they do with all their all with joy throughout their course, showing it big across the world, they are always at your service with all their might even when relatives turn you down, they are always there! You might wonder who these people are? They are the kind, caring and amiable nurses working with other healthcare frontlines in rendering maximum care to patients everyday especially during this COVID19 pandemic disease outbreak.

It is so sad and unfortunate that as the number of infected people escalates in Nigeria, some nurses have been infected with the deadly COVID19 putting them at risk of an untimely death! 

It is very crucial to protect the interests and safety of all healthcare workers  (nurses, doctors, laboratory scientists down to non-health workers in the hospital facilities) in the frontlines during this COVID-19 disease outbreak! They don’t need to get infected nor take the diseases homes to their families and communities! The governments and employers of all healthcare workers must put their safety into consideration by providing supports ranging from physical down to psychological supports from being infected by the disease!

As at 4th of April 2020, 1,201,473 cases of COVID19 were recorded globally with 64,678 deaths including nurses, doctors and other health workers at the frontlines despite the drastic and rigorous precautionary measures taken by western countries and others to halt the spread of the virus, the COVID-19 virus has sporadically spread across the globe putting the whole world into chaos and confusions. Some countries such as China, Italy, India among others are under total lockdown restrictions in their homes while some countries government has embarked on policies such as social distancing, working from homes, workers and student staying at homes, closure of non-essential markets, gyms, clubs, and parks among others, transportation policies, limits in gathering, regular hand hygiene and other precautionary measures to contain the virus!

MUST SEE: How to start a blog as a Nurse in Nigeria

According to the recent tweet from the CEO International Council of Nurses:  Howard Catton, he said that all countries including next wave must learn the lessons, provide personal protective equipments, supply testing kits, distancing and importantly, all counties must prioritize and protect nurses and other healthcare workers safe from the deadly disease! 

The question to ask ourselves is;  

  1. How prepared am I as a nurse? 
  2. What can I do to protect myself and my family from being infected with the virus?
  3. How prepared is our government and healthcare management prepared to contain the virus? 
  4. Are adequate and appropriate personal protective equipments such as gloves, gowns, eyes goggles, face masks, hand sanitizers and  N-95 respirator provided by my employers?  
  5. Is my hospital practicing improvising methods such as using homemade clothed and toilet rolled face masks instead of the filter masks as some medical directors of some hospitals have been giving their health workers? 
  6. What is my association doing about putting my and other nurses safety into consideration? 
  7. What can I do if personal protective equipments are not provided?  
  8. What can I do if my employer is not providing adequate personal protective equipments? 
  9. Am I and my hospital facility adhering to the recommended guidelines provided by the Centre for Disease Control and the World Health Organization? 
  10. If all the appropriate precautionary measures are not strictly adhered to, what will happen? 
Truth be told, lives will be lost, families will be separated, health workers will become infected and nations will suffer from in global war way down to economical crisis! In fact, personal protective equipments such as facemasks, hand sanitizers, glovesand thermometers are now expensive and scare to purchase!

Let me quickly take us back to the year 2014, during the outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Nigeria. Despite the measures to contain the virus, some healthcare workers sacrificed their lives into the cruel hands of Ebola virus, among the recorded deaths index cases in Nigeria, was Nurse Justina Ejelonu who lost her life and unborn baby life while rendering care to Patrick Sawyer, the man who brought Ebola virus to Nigeria. 

Till now, the government has not taken any measures to immortalize her and other healthcare workers who lost their lives in the battle against the Ebola virus. 

Unfortunately, some nurses, doctors and other health workers also lost their lives in the Lassa fever outbreak that is still in Nigeria! 

The question is can Nigerian government really contain the COVID-19 virus with our debilitated healthcare system, shortage of health, inadequate healthcare facilities, inequitable distribution of health resources, known- Provision of essential medical supplies, Poor salary and peanut hazards allowance of 5,000 per annum to each healthcare workers despite the huge amount of money incurred by the healthcare system for the government among others? Imagine health personnel collecting 5,000 as their hazards allowance per year while a lawmaker is receiving about 1 million naira allowance for reading newspaper!

Well with the confirmed cases of  COVID19 in Nigeria214 infected people, 189 active cases total discharged 25 and total deaths 4, the Nigerian government has been taking measures to contain the virus but it is rather unfortunate that most people are not following the guidelines recommended by some states in Nigeria and the resources provided are not adequate!

Some of the precautionary measures include; 

  1. social distancing of 2 meters,
  2. limit of gatherings, 
  3. use of face masks, 
  4. hand sanitizers, conveying a certain of people in public transports vehicles and motorcycles, 
  5. provision of hand sanitizers at the ATM stands, wandering around the street. The phrase is ‘’stay home’’!
Truth be told, Nigerian hospitals have inadequate personal protective equipment to contain the virus, how will the healthcare workers protect themselves from the virus while caring for patients? 

Most hospitals are using old-fashion equipment, lack of adequate electricity and water supply. In fact some hospetals are deducting a certain amount from sad or health workers salaries in order to purchase personal protective equipments!

For nurses and other healthcare workers safety; the following must be provided, failure to do so might lead to the withdrawal of all duties of nurses and doctors as demonstrated by the Zimbabwean Nurses Association when their requirements such as provision of personal equipments, water, coronavirus risk allowances among others are not provided by the government! All their nurses have been withdrawn from rendering services until their requirements are met by the government! 

This is the time that the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives should increase and promote the safety of all nurses in this country! It is high time our nursing leaders use their good positions to promote the health and safety of nurses without jeopardizing their health, advocate and liaise for good remuneration and adequate personal equipment for nurses including adequate food, fruits, and vegetables, portable water.

How nurses can protect themselves from covid19

  1. Provision of personal protective equipments such as gloves, face masks, N95 respirators, protective gears, protective gowns, and eyes googles.
  2. Provision of constant and safe water supply.
  3. Distancing spacing of 2 meters (6feet) away from a patient with COVID19.
  4. Use of standard and transmission-based precautions regardless of patients status.
  5. Perform regular hand hygiene with alcohol-based hand rub before and after physical contact with patients or materials used by patients.
  6. Prepare an isolation center as soon as possible.
  7. Limit visitors influx into the hospital words.
  8. Use clean and sterile protective gloves.
  9. Hospitals should embark in regular cleaning and disinfecting procedures
  10. Consistent use of proper hand hygiene and personal protective equipment must be used.
  11. All nurses, doctors and other healthcare workers should be given the maximum level of protection during the pandemic crisis.
  12. Update training of healthcare workers concerning infection prevention and control methods should be provided
  13. Laboratory scientists and others involved in collecting and transporting of specimens such as sputum, blood, urinefeceses, and vomitus should handle it with care without putting themselves at.
#Nopersonalprotectiveequipments, #nowatersupply, #notoworkpolicies should be adopted by nursing leaders and other health workers associations.

How can I as a nurse prepare and protect myself and my family from being infected by the deadly COVID19 virus? 

The following tips will help you remain safe and protected during this pandemic crisis even if your health facility failed to provide adequate personal equipments.

Remember, your safety first, don’t try to be the hero all the time!
  • Treat all patients as being infectious.
  • Be observant, use all organs of sense to be cautious of your environment.
  • Have adequate information before treating patients.
  • Practice regular hand hygiene.
  • Have your own hand sanitizers in your pockets.
  • Take at least 5 personal face masks to work
  • Have more than one uniform or scrub.
  • Do not wear your uniforms or scrubs home, shops, banks or markets.
  • Go to work and come back home in house wears.
  • Design a place to drop your used house clothes immediately you get home.
  • Pack your used uniforms or scrubs into a polythene bags while preparing to go home.
  • Soak your uniforms in jik solution and wash after 15 minutes.
  • Take your bath immediately you get home with antiseptic lotion.
  • Do not wash your uniforms or scrubs with other wears.
  • Educate your family on hand hygiene and how essential it is to follow safety rules.
  • Avoiding hugging or embracing husbands, wives and children immediately you get home.
  • Separate your uniforms or scrubs from other house clothes.
  • All chief nursing officers should advocate for their nurses in getting adequate personal protective equipments.
  • If you are feeling sick or experiencing cold, rhinitis and cough kindly inform your officers in charge and take precautionary measures.
  • Stay at home if told to do so!
  • Stay in your units except it is crucial to go to other wards!
  • Don’t put your health and other professionals at risk.
  • Eat a lot of fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat an adequate diet.
  • Drink at least 3-4 liters of water per day.
  • Boost your immune system.
  • Take good care of yourself if you have any underlying conditions such as asthma, diabetes among others.
  • It is your right to refuse to treat a patient if adequate personal protective measures are not provided in your health facility, heaven will not fall if you refuse!
  • Be courageous.
In as much as we try to care for patients, also put your safety into consideration! It is when you are safe and healthy that you will be able to render care to other people. Your works are highly appreciated as you and other healthcare workers in the frontlines are helping in putting the pandemic COVID19 into a halt. Our prayers are with you!

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  2. Greetings!

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  4. The most ideal way is to consistently utilize the clinical educator's words as their experience. A positive methodology while contemplating to be a nurse will cause you to accomplish your objective.


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