Have you seen the video, Nurses Change Lives?
In two minutes, the video highlights the many ways nurses have improved patient care, especially in face of huge global and healthcare challenges like polio and the AIDS epidemic.
Once again, nurses are on the frontlines, rising to the challenge of caring for COVID-19 patients. Take a listen to five nurses sharing their experiences, and their fears: https://wapo.st/3eDzfwS.
I am confident there will be a need for an updated nursing innovation video once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. As the authors of the journal article, Reflections on Nursing Ingenuity During the COVID-19 Pandemic, aptly note, “Nurses are innovative out of necessity; the phrase ‘where there’s a nurse around – there’s a work-around…’ embodies that we find ways to improve the process of care at every opportunity.”
Nurses at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified dozens of ways to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 and preserve scarce personal protective equipment (PPE) protective resources such as masks and gowns. These intensive care nurses identified 13 activities to reduce the use of personal protective gear, 17 activities that increase staff safety and readiness, and six activities that reduce foot traffic into patient rooms, including:
- Moving IV pumps and ventilator control panels outside patient rooms so medical staff can adjust and monitor the machines without entering.
- Using in-room videoconferencing capability to allow nurses to check in on patients via a two-way TV screen in their room, reducing the number of nurse trips into the room and therefore the number of masks and gowns used.
The chart below lists all of the innovations.
Source: Newby RN BSN CCRN, JC, Mabry RN BSN CCRN, MC, Carlisle RN BSN CCRN-K SCRN, BA, Olson, PhD, RN, CCRN, FNCS, DW, Lane RN BSN CCRN, BE 2020, ‘Reflections on Nursing Ingenuity During the COVID-19 Pandemic’, Journal of Neuroscience Nursing.
At a hospital in Leicester, England, nurses streamlined patient assessments to reduce staff exposure to COVID-19. Rather than multiple people coming and going from patient rooms, under the nurse-led project, any healthcare worker who enters will:
- Bring in meals and take away uneaten food.
- Check patients’ position and comfort.
- Take basic observations.
- Ask the patient questions about their condition.
- Record all observations and answers.
- Report that the patient has been seen.
2020 is the perfect year to celebrate nurses.
Undoubtedly, there are nurses all over the world coming up with new and better ways to treat COVID-19 patients and care for the healthcare workers around them. Given the ever-increasing demands the pandemic on the nursing profession, 2020 is the perfect year to celebrate nurses.
As challenging and unprecedented as the COVID-19 pandemic is, it also is spotlighting nurses in ways we never expected, and bringing out unprecedented kindness, humanity, competence, fear, resilience and creativity. COVID-19 has created a sense of community that not only unites nurses, but also physicians, first responders, respiratory therapists, environmental service staff and so many others that are critical to making our healthcare system work.
One of the unexpected bright spots of COVID-19 for me is the attention and gratitude to so many who risk so much daily to help others and the importance of our community coming together to get through the pandemic.
I’m proud to say I am a nurse.
ICYMI, Geneia has offered hospitals and physician organizations free licenses to our Theon® Platform for Care Management of COVID-19 Patients. Our lightweight solution helps quickly triage patients seeking COVID-19 information, testing and care. To learn more, click here.