EXCEPTIONAL WAYS IN WHICH UK NURSING WORKFORCE DEALT WITH CORONA PANDEMIC
June 2, 2020
In optimally coping with the COVID-19 outbreak, the role played by the United Kingdom’s NHS has been monumental. Even though drastic changes had to be made in the way the needs of the patients, the hospitals, and their families were being met, the contribution of the NHS in tirelessly dealing with the pandemic at the front line has been remarkable.
At this time, the number of people affected by the novel Corona Virus is increasing at an alarming rate in the United Kingdom. The healthcare system and especially the nurses (including the new graduates, the ones working with the NHS, retired ones, or the ones who were recently hired after applying for nursing jobs in the NHS UK) have taken a lead in dealing with the pandemic. Right from administering medications, assisting patients with the elimination of diarrhoea, constantly assessing their mental, physical and emotional health, bringing food to the patients, caring for their wounds, counselling them, etc., the nurses have been on guard 24×7.
The overseas nurses form a major share of the nursing workforce that is working in the United Kingdom. Looking at the role played by the nursing professionals in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom will welcome an increasing number of nurses applying for nursing jobs in the NHS UK. It is now being realized that nurses are one of the most important professionals who keep the healthcare system intact.
Dealing with the ongoing pandemic, the nurses have been focused on prioritizing infection prevention and containing the disease amongst patients, healthcare providers across all units within the NHS hospitals, etc.
Given the key role played by nurses in taking a lead in the pandemic and being the care providers who stand at the frontline, there are some exceptional ways in which the UK nursing workforce dealt with the Corona pandemic. In this blog, we will have a look at all of them one after another.
1.ROLE OF NURSES IN PROVIDING PHYSICAL CARE:
During the beginning stages of the pandemic, the hospital activities carried on as usual in the United Kingdom. However, when the spread of COVID-19 progressed, the nurses had to advocate for a completely revamped way of working to efficiently handle the patients. Since all the usual tasks had to be completed in the healthcare units but their intensity was grave, nurses have worked in extreme pressure.
As there was a massive surge of extremely ill patients, severe stress on the entire health care system of the United Kingdom has been lurking for long. In addition, nurses had to step up their clinical duties and initiate many processes for taking care of the patients. The seriousness of the pandemic is of high magnitude. Therefore, all patients with or without the confirmed cases of the virus are being monitored very carefully by the nurses.
The nurses have also been in charge of providing medications to address symptoms, monitoring input, and output of assessing the health of patients along with offering prompt support to doctors and patients in all possible ways. The nurses have been caring for all probable and confirmed cases whilst making sure that everyone takes maximum airborne precautions to contain the spread of this disease.
Paranoia, confusion, and anxiety have erupted in the form of unavoidable risk of the outbreak that is caused by the deadly COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, this has been so severe, that many patients or their families feel worried when they come in close contact with a person who is either coughing, sneezing, or is even generally sick during the ongoing pandemic. The reassurance provided by the nurses has been of high significance in eliminating anxiety in many people.
Additionally, taking care of the fellow nurses and other colleagues working in the healthcare who had unfortunately contracted the disease has added an entirely new stage of complication for the nurses. Even though they are themselves undergoing great stress, they have been more focused on providing unflinching emotional support and care to the patients.
During this time, the nurses who have had the experience of dealing with the COVID-19 have been very helpful in training the new professionals placed in the nursing jobs in the UK. The trained nurses communicated and trained all the inexperienced ones to take care of themselves and their patients by prioritizing emotional care. This is because when the patients feel emotionally supported and cared for, they have a tendency to heal quickly.
3.DIRECTING AND COMMUNICATING:
If we compare all the healthcare professionals then the nurses are the ones who spend maximum time while engaging in face-to-face conversations with their patients. Oftentimes, the nurses are the first point of contact for direction and communication.
Although most patients have been already stressed because of the illnesses brought on them, the pandemic has been the reason for them experiencing higher stress. In these times, the nurses ensured that the patients were directed and informed with just the right information about their diagnosis to help them reduce their stress. The nurses went out of their way to see that no information was held back.
Additionally, nurses have also been the prime information educators with constant communication with their patients, families, and friends about the COVID-19 disease. In order to ensure that there is no misled information creating panic; nurses have been consistent in releasing information for the wellbeing of patients.
4.ADVOCATING FOR PATIENTS AND FAMILIES:
While dealing with the excessively challenging situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nurses have played the role of being an advocate for the patients as well as their families. This is mostly because advocating for sick patients who are distressed after getting affected by the disease is necessary for treating them better.
The nurses have been significant in communicating with the families about the intubation, extubation, sedation, or complete isolation of the patients. After carrying out hourly checks of vital signs along with constant pain assessments, nurses have been on the side of patients all the time.
The new nurses hired in the nursing jobs in the UK have been specially trained for being consistent in all their shifts so that the highest possible healthcare delivery standards can be maintained during the pandemic. The work done by the nurses in working as a team and being there for the patients and their families when it comes to giving out information has been absolutely commendable.
5.DISEASE PREVENTION AND HEALTH PROMOTION:
he role played by the nurses in disease promotion and the well-being promotion while dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic has enabled the UK to cope up with the outbreak. Nurses have been limiting the family visitors to keep their visits as low as possible along with entirely discouraging the children or the elderly to visit hospitals in any possible way.
In order to prevent the disease from spreading and promoting maximum health and well-being measures, the nurses have been taking out the time to answer as many questions as possible. They are going out of their way to make sure that the people are informed so they can stay at home and take care of themselves.
The nurses are also making sure their instructions are clear to people so that the spread of infection within the homes and communities can be contained. Even basic instructions such as washing hands repeatedly, going to the hospitals only in case of symptoms, putting on personal protective equipment, and wearing masks all the time are being constantly communicated. These measures have been very helpful in helping the NHS from keeping the people safe, cared for, and looked after in the right way.
6.MENTORING NEW NURSES:It is a known fact that the nurses learn to evolve their practice, knowledge, and skills by observing, getting mentored and being supported by the senior nurses. The newly hired nurses for the nursing jobs in the UK have been extensively trained by the experienced nurses on all the steps that must be taken for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The nursing practitioners and leaders have set respectable professional standards. All the new nurses, nursing students, or volunteers have been mentored for implementing a sense of peace over panic along with working by depending on one’s feelings and comfort. This helps nurses become confident and independent.
In fact, the senior nurses have been so noble that they have chosen to care for the seriously ill patients by themselves as much as possible while letting the new nurses work with the ones who aren’t affected or critical. This eases pressure on the nurses and lets them understand how to manage a pandemic or any extreme healthcare situations very effectively.CONCLUSION:
The United Kingdom is always looking for more opportunities to hire trained nurses who apply for nursing jobs in the UK because the government gives high importance to the role played by critical care nurses. More so than any other time, this decision to hire overseas nurses has helped the United Kingdom in fighting with the COVID-19 pandemic head-on.
Since the contribution of the UK nursing workforce in dealing with the Corona pandemic has been immense, their suggestions in improving healthcare delivery are being taken into consideration. Nurses have directed the measures that must be taken at different levels of the healthcare system. Efforts are being made to rebuild the entire healthcare setting while hiring nurses who are in favor of applying for nursing jobs in the UK. Due to Corona Virus, principles for increasing the nursing workforce in response to an exceptionally rising demand for adult critical care are being enforced.