Life of a Private Nurse in time of Pandemic
- 14 Jun 2020
COVID-19 has transformed the life of all health care professionals into a stress zone. This hasn’t spared private nurses and other home health care providers. Providing elderly care, maternity care, newborn care, and home care have never been this challenging.
Rapid changing of protocols and precautions with constant life-threatening stress of catching COVID has left home health care providers in a constant dilemma.
The fear of being an asymptomatic carrier and transferring it to your loved ones when returning home is another painful thought.
As we go along, adapting to the “new normal” is inevitable. There is no choice other than resuming to provide services to the people in need and bring some sort of much needed normality into their lives.
How to Resume New Routine Life as a Private Nurse
The routine life of private nurses can never be the same unless COVID-19 vaccine is available. Permanent threat of virus and changing protocols as the research is emerging make it more challenging and ever chnaging.
A balance between the dangers and necessity has to be established but how can someone work in this era being physically and psychologically sound?
Here are some tips that can help in returning to work and making you more secure and sound.
Feel Good about Your Job
You are a nurse. You have one of the noblest jobs among millions. The service you are providing to the your patients who cannot help themselves makes you a hero and we all appreciate and cherish your efforts.
You are risking your life not because you have to, but you care about that old person who cannot breath properly or a mother in a maternity period who is unable to look after her newborn baby.
Stick to the Guidelines
Yes, it is difficult to follow new and changing guidelines, but you have to keep up with them.
The guidelines provided by credible agencies like Dubai Health Authority(DHA), WHO, and CDC are improving almost daily so you have to be in touch with them all the time.
Use extra care while wearing and removing personal protective equipments (PPEs). Don’t skip any of the PPE advised by your respective authority. Discard it according to protocols devised.
Remember! The more knowledge you have, the less are the chances of getting the nasty virus. It’s better to have quick access to the websites on your mobile to have a glance daily before starting a shift.
You Are Dealing With Immuno-compromised Individuals
If you are providing help to a mom in maternity, an elder person with Alzheimer's disease, or a premature newborn baby, remember, they all are already on the weaker side of immunity. So it requires you to be more responsible and cautious.
Now, you cannot roam in their house without a mask or be a little casual. The highest rate of mortality due to COVID has been found in old people. So always follow protocols.
Be Gentle with Your Patients
Yes, you are stressed and overburdened with so much responsibility on your shoulders, but you can’t use it as an excuse. Your patients may not comply with your commands.
An old person with dementia can forget your instruction or a mother in postoperative pain may not follow your request but again, you must be patient. You cannot let them do anything harmful to themselves just because you are now exhausted.
Keep Yourself Healthy
Remember your health as a nurse comes first and deviating from a healthy routine can put your life at risk. So strictly obey the following points.
- A good sleep- sleep is one of the most important factors in boosting your immunity. 8 hours of sleep is a must nowadays. This should be in a single episode. Your most important guard is your immunity so do not compromise on your rest.
- A healthy diet & Exercise- Diet enriched in immunity-enhancing nutrients is necessary. Proteins, fresh fruits and vegetables must be included in your daily diet. Regular exercise has also proven to increase immunity. Taking advice from a dieticianabout the most appropriate food for you will be great.
- Be extra-cautious with highly suspected/ confirmed patients- If someone is COVID positive, or a suspected person, your alert level should be at highest. They might not show any symptoms but they can surely pass on the virus to other individuals easily.
- Don’t ignore if you have started experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 Don’t ignore by saying yourself, “it’s just a flu”. Remember you are a frontline warrior and at high risk to contract the virus. Stay calm and call the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) hotline and they will happily assist you with the closest clinic to take the test. In the meantime, isolate yourself and inform your head of unit immediately. You will receive a call from DHA in 48hr with the result.
Make a SOP Before Returning Home
When going back home from work, you don’t want to spread the suspected virus on your shoes, cloth, or any other surfaces like car keys, etc. Make a protocol before seeing your family. It may include;
- Discarding the PPEs
- Taking off shoes and washing your feet/ disinfecting them.
- Changing and separating the working clothes for washing
- Having a hot shower with a soap
- Cleaning all your belongings with disinfectants e.g., car keys, mobile, pen, etc.
These precautionary measures will reduce the chances of spread.
Psychological Well Being
Constantly working in stress and hearing the news about the affected front-liners can dramatically reduce your psychological health. Therefore, you must stay positive. Remaining positive in this era is the key to work in somewhat normality until the good days arrive again.