If you are finding it challenging to stay at home these days, imagine how a nurse or a doctor would feel. Just like us, they do not have the luxury of being cooped at home, even at the time of crisis. Coronavirus has created havoc in the world, so how can the nurses stay safe? As the health systems all around the world creak under the strain of this pandemic situation, there lies a great deficit in the number of health practitioners in the world.
According to a report by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it has been estimated that there is a deficit of 5.9 million nurses presently. Naturally, there is a need to understand the impact of Coronavirus on nursing professionals across the world. While treating the patients, they are not only exposed to physical torments but also risk their mental health. This is what we are going to explore further in this blog.
As per the Journal of the American Medical Association (AMA), it is clear that the nursing professionals are not only falling in the trap of the Coronavirus pandemic, but even their mental well-being is in serious jeopardy.
Let us quantify the mental risks that the nurses are facing daily.
Among 1,257 health practitioners who have attended the COVID-19 patients in China, 50% of them show symptoms of depression while 45%, 34% and 71.5% are facing anxiety, insomnia and psychological distress.
Let us now discuss the effects of Coronavirus on healthcare practitioners all across the globe in detail.
Needless to say, the medical and health practitioners around the world are the pillars of strength in this pandemic situation. If they get affected, then undoubtedly, the well-being of people would collapse. Thus, it becomes imperative to trace the effects that the deadly Coronavirus is having on the nurses, so that they can be mitigated.
Following are some of the problems that nurses are facing these days.
As per the research conducted by the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia (NMBA), the hospitals were fully occupied even before the outbreak of the pandemic. Naturally, they were facing a shortage of masks, sanitizers and other types of equipment needed to treat the patients. According to the survey, only 30% of the nurses in Australia had all the required types of equipment.
The WHO’s report says that there is a higher chance of healthcare professionals to get infected by Coronavirus, as compared to other people. Initially in Wuhan, 15% of the total 1,700 cases of COVID-19 for medical personnel were severe. Among these, 5 nurses even died. Even if we talk about European countries, the cases where medical personnel have been affected are significantly large. In countries like Spain and Italy, the percentages of nurses being infected by the disease are over 14% and 18%.
Though there has been an alarming increase in the number of hospitals during the current pandemic situation all across the world, there is a stark contrast in the number of healthcare staff being hired on daily basis, as compared to the administrative departments.
Source: World Health Organisation (WHO)
As you can see in the data given above, in different countries, there is a large number of hospital employment nowadays. However, if the number of nursing professionals gets eliminated, then the hospitals will remain with nothing. Naturally, there is a pressing need to hire more and more efficient health personnel who can replace the nurses and doctors, if they get infected with the disease.
Several times, even if the nurse delivers quality nursing care to patients, there is a lack of coordination between the nurses and the hospitals. Due to this, health professionals do not get access to the resources that are needed for the treatment of the patients.
This leads to frustration and also hampers the mental health of nursing professionals.
By now, you might have understood the hardships that the nurses face while dealing with patients during the current pandemic situation in the world. However, if we look on the brighter side, a lot of initiatives have also been taken for the nurses who attend the Coronavirus patients. Let us talk about some.
The International Council of Nurses (ICN) has taken several steps to aid nurses while they deal with the patients of this pandemic. They have sent a message of support to the nurses who provide quality nursing care to patients during the present Coronavirus outbreak. The president also offered a supportive hand for helping them fight COVID-19 by whichever means possible.
In addition to this, several medical professionals have come forward to show solidarity and also helped to replenish the supply of masks, sanitizers, and other types of equipment that are necessary for treating the patients.
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Keith Morris is a certified nurse who retired as a registered nurse after participating in a WHO campaign in Geneva. He is dedicated to helping students score good grades in their nursing courses and are offered a chance to help the people and establish a better healthcare community across the globe. He works as a nurse at a local clinic with underprivileged children and provides assignment guidance to the students. Reflection writing, aged care, Gibbs reflective cycle, cardiac nursing, pathophysiology, etc. are a few to name from his area of dominance.
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