During this special time, nurses have never been more necessary than ever in recent memory. This current pandemic is hard for everyone, in terms of health, stress, and money. Many of us are dealing with not having enough work, or not being able to go to work. But nurses, and all healthcare professionals, are facing the problem of too much work. COVID-19 has increased the pressure on nurses, and many nurses are reaching a breaking point. What can we do to help them? Here are some best ways that you can support nurses and other healthcare workers this difficult time.
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How to support Nurses & Healthcare Workers?
The first, and best, thing to do is take care of yourself. That is, prevent yourself from getting sick. Taking protective measures to protect yourself is the best way to appreciate nurses. Because it reduces their workload, and also means you’re not in danger. Exactly what nurses and healthcare professionals want. So, what are some of the ways you can protect yourself during this pandemic?
Wash Your Hands
According to the CDC, washing your hands is by far one of the most important ways of defeating the virus. But, in an interesting twist, not the way most people think. Despite all of the runs on hand sanitizer at the beginning, regular soap works best. Handwashing helps remove the virus, as well as break it down. While alcohol-based hand sanitizers are ok if you can’t get soap, it’s best to just wash your hands.
Wear a mask
Wearing a mask has been shown to be very effective in helping stop the spread of the disease. Many people don’t like being forced to wear one, but it’s certainly helpful. It can ensure that you don’t spread the disease to others by accident. However, it’s important to remember that in order to protect yourself, you must make sure to wash your hands before putting on your mask! And vice-versa. Otherwise, you could be spreading the virus to your face and mouth.
Obviously, this isn’t a surprise. Try and keep 6 feet apart, so you reduce your chances of spreading or catching the virus. Likewise, follow any distancing guidelines in your area. Try to keep in mind that you aren’t just protecting yourself, but everyone else as well.
Don’t Touch Your Face
It’s so difficult, but do your best! Remember, you’re not just protecting yourself, but making life easier on the healthcare system as well. Which will in turn really help out nurses.
Show Them Some Love
Most of us have at least someone in our lives in healthcare. Since we can’t help them in their jobs, let’s try and make sure they’re taken care of elsewhere. Here are some ideas for how we can support them during this time.
1. Send Them a Message
We can’t be with them at the hospital, but we can let them know that we’re thinking of them. Shoot them a friendly message, something cute and upbeat. It can be really encouraging just to know that someone cares and appreciates what they’re doing.
2. Buy Them a Meal
Making them some food would be nice, but that can get a bit dicey. After all, you don’t want to potentially give or be exposed to the virus. Why not send them some cash for a meal? Venmo them just a bit so they can maybe treat themselves.
3. Donate Supplies
Lots of companies are doing this. Pivoting to make ventilators and masks. Which is good because nurses need to protect themselves. So, do what you can and donate what you think would help. Check with your local hospital to see what they need.
4. Lobby for Protective Equipment
Many nurses are being forced to make their own protective materials, since supplies are so tight. This is dangerous for both nurses and their patients. Help them out by contacting your senator to ask them to increase supplies.
5. Support them on Social Media
Even if you don’t know a nurse personally, you can still send a message of support over social media. Why not post a cute photo in support of Nurses everywhere. Remind everyone to thank these people who are risking their lives for you.
Learning Some First Aid
A bit of first aid knowledge obviously can’t replace the need for a professional. It can, in some cases, prevent you from having to run to the hospital for minor issues. It can also help you decrease the damage done for larger problems, like a fracture, that require medical attention. Making it easier for nurses and medical professionals to fix. So, in this time of over-burdened medical systems, try to do a little first aid in order to prevent or limit hospital time.
This is still one of the most important first aid practices you can learn. You can review the procedure, although keep in mind it has changed a bit over the years, so a class might be best. Keep in mind, also, that cardiac arrest is in general very hard to come back from. 90 percent of people who go into cardiac arrest die before reaching the hospital. Very bad odds. However, starting effective CPR within two minutes increases chance of survival by 200-300 percent. Still low, but much better. So take the time to learn it, since, it will probably take longer than ever before for ambulances to get to you.
This one might not be as obvious to think about, but with ambulance wait times sure to be increasing, it could be extremely important. There are several things you should know how to do. Apply direct pressure, elevate the wound, and use pressure points to slow blood flow to the wound. Check out the links for more specific instructions.
3. Breaks and Sprains
Interestingly enough, strains and breaks should be treated the same. Why? Because you can’t be sure what exactly is going on without an x-ray. Which means that all damage to extremities should be treated the same as a break. In the case that you can’t tell the difference, you should put ice (in a bag) on the injury. Elevate the injury to reduce swelling. And finally take ibuprofen or other anti-inflammatory drugs like it. In the event that you have an obvious break, like a deformity, then DON’T straighten it. Also, if the extremity is cold or blue, call 911 immediately. For more info on specific breaks, look here.
Burns are pretty obvious, but still worth knowing as well. Good initial care can help prevent the need for a hospital visit. First, flush the area with cool running water for several minutes. Do NOT use ice! Then, you may wrap a light gauze bandage around the burn, making sure not to break any blisters the develop. Don’t use oils, butter, or burn ointments on the burn. Monitor the severity of the burn to see whether a hospital trip is needed.
During this trying time, we have to admit that there isn’t any way we can fully remove the burden nurses are currently facing. They are currently showing themselves to be the heroes they have always been, and we are grateful for that. So, while we can’t fully remove the burden, we can do our best to help them. Whether that’s by helping prevent the spread of the virus, giving emotional support, or helping out with first aid. We can do our best to support them during this time. But most importantly, be sure to voice your thanks to all of the nurses helping protect us during this time. Thank your Nurses!
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