6 of the Biggest Issues Nurses Face During the Quarantine
Nursing is one of the most selfless jobs that we know of. The recent events have further highlighted their dedication. Therefore, the nursing profession is given a lot of respect. However, there are still some issues nurses face while doing their jobs.
The nursing profession is already a difficult one, and the pandemic has made it a lot more challenging. Nurses are facing unprecedented dangers and issues in the workplace now. Every day that they walk into the COVID ward, they are putting their lives on a high stake.
In this article, we will be discussing the problems that nurses are facing, including life-threatening situations.
Six Biggest Issues Nurses Face as Quarantine Continues
1. Shortage of Human Resources
The nurse staff in the USA had always been short of their actual need. And as the baby boomers aged towards retirement, the shortage was predicted to become as acute as it could be. In such a situation, where the country was already expecting a critical problem of shortage, COVID-19 came like another big blow. Imagine a hospital where the nurses are less than the needed number on a normal day.
If one nurse used to attend five patients in a day then, the ratio must have been tripled by now. So every nurse might be looking after 15-20 patients every day. It is an alarming situation as the burden over a single nurse is too high for them to bear. And these are just assumptions. The actual situation is getting much worse every passing day.
2. Longest Working Hours with no Relief
Due to the acute shortage of nurse staff, nurses used to serve overtime before the pandemic arrived. Now that the number of patients for COVID-19 is rising every hour, the nurses are bound to serve for even longer hours.
With back to back duties and shifts, they are unable to get any relief.
The workload has increased more than ever. And in such time, the nurses are paying the cost for the negligence of the public out there. Only because some people do not feel like staying inside their homes, the nurses are bound to stay outside their homes.
Some nurses don’t even get to go home if the commute is longer than the time between shifts. This is the time when we need nurses the most, while on the other hand, the nurses need our help too. We must be more empathetic towards the issues nurses face and take action for their relief.
There should be more people opting for the nursing profession, volunteering themselves into the field to join these front line fighters and heroes.
3. Lack of PPE and Masks
Staff shortage and longer working hours were already difficult to deal with while the lack of PPE and masks have made their lives a lot more difficult. Not only are the nurses investing all their time and energy in saving the patients, but they are also putting their own lives in danger while doing so.
The staff had no option but to ‘reuse’ the masks, which is quite hazardous itself. The nurses then again became the saviors for themselves and started sewing masks for the staff. So now the nurses are looking after patients and providing the safety equipment for themselves.
There can’t be a better definition of selflessness than the one showed by our frontline warriors in this pandemic. They deserve prestige and respect for the effort they had already been putting and the heroism they have been showing in the current situation.
4. Ethical Dilemma
The issues nurses face aren’t just being low on safety equipment only. They are also facing a shortage of the required medicines and capacity for the patients. Due to this unprecedented situation, the nurses are now facing an ethical dilemma.
It is burdening on one’s soul to decide who deserves the medicine or care more than the other. While every human being has the right to cure, the pandemic has left them with no choice. Therefore, as the nurses go through the ethical dilemma of picking one patient over another, their mental health is getting affected.
It is no less than trauma to let one patient stay in pain because they can not be provided with what they needed. Nurses are in great need of nursing counseling support to help themselves through this time of utter distress and misery.
5. Concerns of Well-Being for Self & Family
One of the greatest issues nurses face as the whole world is in quarantine, is the concern for their own and family’s safety. The nurses who are working in the COVID-19 quarantine ward, keep dreading if they catch the virus anytime.
Due to this constant fear, their interaction with their own families becomes harmful. This does not only burden them emotionally but also doubles their struggle. Keeping the nurses healthy is an enormous challenge with the given circumstances.
On the other hand, saving their families from unwanted trouble is another concern that is clearly getting much less attention than it should. If the nurses do not get the right quality and quantity of safety equipment needed to do their job, we may be moving towards a great loss.
6. Emotional and Mental Distress
All these situations are a source of great emotional and mental distress for the nurses. They can not get enough sleep, nor they are getting the right kind of safety.
Nurses have been putting themselves in utter danger to help the ones suffering. The worst of the issues nurses face is to take huge decisions every day. We can not imagine the burden they may be feeling for having to choose one patient over another.
The whole pandemic situation has made their lives extremely hard. These problems that the nursing are facing in the hospital and at home, maybe taking a bad toll on their emotional well-being. They need constant online nursing counseling and support to make it successfully through the pandemic.
As much as the whole world is affected by the pandemic, we can not debate that the nurses have been at the biggest disadvantage. Their jobs have become the toughest, and they have little to no facilities to fight this battle.
In such times, the issues nurses face can be reduced by acting responsibly and showing support. We must also help them by learning online nursing studies and joining the nursing profession.