I was recently contacted by a registered nurse working in a hospital here in Finland.
I thought that my readers would be interested in what the medical staff has to go through in treating these highly contagious Coronavirus patients. These professionals are both understaffed and over-worked, and above all, are daily putting their own health and lives on the line in helping their communities. These are the heroes of our present time.
There’s a lot of work involved in preparation for one’s shift. Getting dressed and undressed involves a high level of methodical exactness. There are many stages where we have to take extreme care and caution. In the beginning, while just on an inspection tour in a Covid-19 room with four patients for the first time, one immediately understands just how exact this work is.
Before entering a quarantine ward, everything you have on has to be disinfected. The hands and mask, protective goggles, your cap, jacket, and gloves, etc. You also have to be schooled in how to take these garments off. Undressing from your protective work clothes is just as involved. You have to be disinfected at every stage. Everything. You get used to it, but it’s incredibly demanding work.
The requirements in nursing are also very demanding. For example, keeping the patients properly hydrated, and with other liquids that one has to administer, and monitoring the medication given, such as antibiotics for treatment of those with pneumonia, and patients’ temperatures, etc. The requests for samples are taken via telephone as well as for supplies. There’s also the preparation of medicine involved.
There’s also managing IV drips and the changing of their diapers every two hours. We have an excellent team of nurses, but everyone is under a great deal of stress. I feel especially for the Down Syndrome patients who are scared because of the way we are all dressed. Comforting their fears is paramount.