Mary Jagim, MSN, RN, CEN, FAEN | CNO at Infinite Leap
We are currently experiencing one of those moments in time that we will all remember for the rest of our lives. We are in the midst of a global crisis like nothing we have experienced in modern times. We are concerned, confused, frightened, frustrated at the loss of employment or planned events, and unsure where we are all going to land when it’s over. We are distancing ourselves from others, trying to minimize opportunities for exposure in order to mitigate the pandemic. However, our healthcare professionals don’t have that luxury right now. Nurses, physicians, CNAs, respiratory therapists, and first responders are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. These Healthcare Heroes are facing immense challenges in delivering care to patients. They are like members of the military going to war, only some of them don’t have adequate PPE protective gear or all the tools and weapons they need such as ventilators, oxygen, and beds. Our Healthcare Heroes will likely face shortages in their ranks as many may become sick themselves from the ongoing repeated exposure.
As an emergency nurse, I am in awe of my colleagues and the level of preparedness and response they are demonstrating as the number of patients grows by the hour. Emergency Departments are chaotic places, without factoring in a pandemic. The current crisis they are facing exponentially amplifies the stress on the emergency care system. Yet, the only thing they’re asking of us is to stay home, be safe, limit exposure, and wash our hands.
It is amazing to see all the support healthcare is receiving. Many companies that serve the healthcare industry, and even some that do not traditionally provide products for healthcare, are working to provide support in any way possible. Whether it’s manufacturing N95 masks, hand sanitizer, or ventilators, many are stepping up to the plate and innovating to meet the emerging needs. Our team (through Prompt.Health – our products group) is also working to support emergency care providers by providing tools to trace contact exposures, locate patients and medical staff in non-traditional care areas such as tents and other surge sites, and quickly find available ventilators and other critical equipment within the hospital. We also provide healthcare organizations with the free use of our Visitor Management and Family Communication solutions to ease their workload. We want our Healthcare Heroes to know that we stand behind them.
Our Healthcare Heroes are putting their lives and those of their families on the line every shift they work. They understand the importance of their role in battling this crisis and have trained and prepared for events like this. But that doesn’t make it any easier. Our Heroes need to know we got their back. We must all do everything we can to help them stay safe and make sure they have the resources they need to perform their jobs safely. We owe them all our respect, our support, our gratitude, and our prayers. They truly are Healthcare Heroes in scrubs.