Frontlines of Healthcare – Taking Care of Our Nurses

No doubt about it, Covid-19 has been devastating to the welfare of the country, and more directly to those of you at ground zero. The heroes of the story, America’s Nurse!

Nurses have been devastated with long hours and not enough of them. The Healthcare system has been crippled due to the clear shortage of professional nurses, PPE, and vaccine access.

Today, though some things have changed for the better, we are entering a new phase of frustration. We are beginning to lose the precious few nurses we have due to long hours, leading to exhaustion, and burn-out, not to mention the heroes that contracted Covid while performing their self-sacrificial job, as well as other issues impacting health. In times of casualty, healthcare workersfind themselves in a difficult position.

As you are all aware, healthcare workers are a very special breed! It is their caring nature which thrusts them to answer, Provision 2 of the ANA Code of Ethics for Nurses “the nurse’s primary commitment is to the patient”.

The ethical part of the nurse-patient relationship can get a bit complicated as they not only have a Provision 2 obligation to others, but Provision 5 of the Code states that the nurse owes the same duty to themselves! This conflict is concerning and indicates a wide gap in our country’s disaster preparedness and response systems.

I will always be amazed that nurses, in times of danger, indiscriminately put themselves in harm’s way, neglecting their own well being, and provide selfless patient care! This is what I call a HERO!

How can the nurse balance the obligation to the Code and protect oneself physically as well as mentally?

Stop…Refresh…Recharge, No one can go forever! You must take time for yourself! Therefore, I love the travel nurse concept. Work a contract, take a minute for yourself before your next contract. If you are not healthy, it will be difficult to get your patients that way!

You will always be heroes to me… be a hero to yourself sometimes!

Thank you for all you do for all of us!