Covid-19 and the Role of Nurses


Nurses attend patients at a hospital in Kashmir.

COVID-19 is an communicable infectious disease that arose in Wuhan china in late 2019 and a new virus termed novel coronavirus was found to be the responsible for this disease. Novel coronavirus belongs to a group of positive sense single stranded RNA, coronaviruses of Order Nidovirales. The common symptoms of this disease are fever, cough and shortness of breathe. Although in majority of cases it turns out to be mild but in some patients with medical histories, it may turn out to b lethal. The disease is said to spread via droplet mode of infection in which droplets of an infected patient containing virus, transmit the virus when contacted.

In the current outbreak of Covid -19 pandemic everyone’s life is at stake with more than 3 million confirmed cases and about more than 0.2 million deaths. The profession that are more vulnerable to this disease are healthcare professionals because they have to treat these Covid -19 affected patients. As rightly said by Martin H. Fischer for healthcare workers “Our profession is the only one which works unceasingly to annihilate itself”.  Healthcare professionals need to work tirelessly in this gruesome and melancholic situation. Everyone’s hopes are bound to these workers and everyone looks up to them in case of any health problem. At present our healthcare workers are effortlessly working to defeat this pandemic without really caring for themselves. They are the only thing standing between us and Covid-19. They annihilate themselves just to protect us despite  lacking PPEs and other protection kits. They are risking their lives to save common masses. This pandemic will be over soon but will leave a mark on the lives of these healthcare workers and even some might not live to see it vanishing. Until a vaccine is developed by scientists. These doctors and frontline health workers are the  souls most  at risk on the planet Earth. If a single healthcare worker is infected with Covid- 19, they will transmit it to a number of persons creating a terrible situation and will further add up the burden on other workers. So it is a must that these workers should b provided with every single thing they need to protect themselves.

Nursing profession is the noblest profession and most trusted profession in healthcare system and was lightened up by Florence Nightingale who died while serving the mankind. Nurses play an important role both locally and globally. They are on the front line fighting against this infection and caring for the patients. Since they spend more time with patients than doctors do, they are able to check and confirm whether a particular strategy against this infection is useful or should be discarded. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has named year 2020 as the year of nurses and midwives. The impact of the pandemic is that the nursing profession is gaining respect all over the world which were otherwise seen as downtrodden healthcare workers. This pandemic has changed the view of people about nursing and now the world has got to know that nursing is not only bedside caretaking or just assisting a doctor but it is an important part of the healthcare system with it own code of ethics, set of standards. As Dag Hammarsk told about nurses “Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.”

This pandemic will be over soon but we must learn some lessons from it, as to where we need to improve and how can we prefect our preparations to fight a pandemic. One of the important things is availability of Drugs and personal protection kits and secondly we need to educate our nurses properly during their training. We need to organise workshops for common masses in general and nurses in particular to educate them about the disease and how to prevent yourself from disease. We need to have hands on training programs for nurse to enhance their efficiency. We need to introduce emergency tactics subject in the curriculum of the courses like B.Sc nursing and M.Sc Nursing. We need to train our nurses to use emergency equipment’s and have a background information about those equipments. Moreover the higher officials at administration level must be quick to respond to the alarms raised by nurses and act accordingly.

There are some other ways to enhance the efficiency and stability of our healthcare workers like by believing in the capabilities of nurses and trusting their instinct. All the achievements of a nurse need to be appreciated and awarded.

Khalid Reyaz Dar

4th Year B.SC Nursing. Adarsha College of Nursing. Bangalore

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