COVID-19 Response Exemplifies the Year of the Nurse
With the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic, we are living in an unprecedented time. Some have predicted this type of pandemic for years,1,2 but the speed and ferocity of it took most of us by surprise.
This pandemic demonstrates how interconnected we are—whether down the street or across the globe. And everywhere in the world, we are witnessing the amazing courage, resiliency, compassion, and heroism of healthcare workers—particularly nurses. It is during such a time that all nurses realize their common bond—public health nurses who work with communities and officials to quickly identify and stop the spread of disease; obstetric nurses caring for pregnant women, who are one of the groups at particular risk for the infection, during what should be only a joyous event; nurse educators who are working diligently to support students in completing their semesters and graduation requirements so they can enter the workforce during an extremely unsettling time; and critical care nurses who are with patients when they are at their sickest and potentially facing death with no family members present. Each nurse uses his or her expertise the best they can to contribute during this infectious disease crisis. These examples truly exemplify the 2020 Year of the Nurse campaign.
Things are changing so rapidly. What can we do?
- Seek facts whenever possible, recognizing that this is a novel virus with varied individual responses, and we are all learning together in real time. Some good sources are LitCovid, AACN's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update, the Society of Critical Care Medicine's Emergency Resources, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- Reach out to your legislators to demand that they get essential supplies to the workers who need them—not only for the current crisis but for future crises we will surely face.
- In the midst of profound fatigue, anxiety, and sadness, be kind to yourself and others and acknowledge the glimmers of light that can provide hope to get us through together. Some inspiration and resources include MN COVIDsitters, Random Acts of Kindness During the Coronavirus Outbreak. I'll also leave you with this quote:
We can never express adequate gratitude to those who are working on the front lines every day to provide the best care they can.
"Courage is not a lack of anxiety or fear, that is evidence you are paying attention and not living in denial. Courage is the resolve to act reasonably in the face of adversity for what you believe to be right, and to manage your fear as you do so."—Seattle Medical Director
You are our heroes.Mary Fran Tracy, PhD, RN, CCNS
- Osterholm MT, Schwartz J. Living Terrors: What America Needs to Know to Survive the Coming Bioterrorist Catastrophe. Delacorte Press; 2000.
- Osterholm MT, Olshaker M. Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Killer Germs. Little, Brown; 2017.