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Happy Nurses Week: A Look at Nursing in the Time of the Coronavirus

Happy Nurses Week: A Look at Nursing in the Time of the Coronavirus

| May 11, 2020

Nurses have always been heroes, tirelessly taking care of others while often putting their own health at risk. However, while dealing with the coronavirus, their role has become even more significant. Nurses are on the front lines of the fight against the coronavirus, and for their selfless efforts, these professionals deserve a lot of praise during nurse's week this year. 

Travelling to the Front Lines

To aid with the fight against the coronavirus, many nurses have travelled to the front lines. They've left their homes and gone to places like New York City that have a high concentration of cases. They've said goodbye to their families and agreed to work in dangerous and often heartbreaking situations. At the same time, many nurses are working at their regular clinics or hospitals, protecting people with the virus in their area or gearing up as they wait for the virus to spread to their communities. 

Working, Even Without the Right Protective Equipment 

A shortage of personal protective equipment has also affected nurses. While the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have recommended that people treating patients with the coronavirus wear N95 or higher-level respirators, some hospitals have not been able to provide nurses with this equipment. In some cases, hospitals have even provided this equipment to doctors or clinicians while just telling nurses to wear normal surgical masks. In spite of this disparity, nurses have continued to work, putting themselves in danger. 

Using Their Own Paid Leave to Quarantine

Nurses aren't just putting their health at risk. In many cases, they are also sacrificing financially to help with the fight of this virus. In particular, some nurses who have been exposed to the virus have used their own sick pay or personal time off to quarantine. By isolating, they are able to ensure they didn't contract the virus and eliminate the risk of spreading it to patients or other healthcare providers. 

Some nurses who have exhausted their current paid time off are worried that they may not have any paid leave left to cover their absences if they do contract the virus. 

However, to help, hospitals such as Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia are quickly changing their policies. Some hospitals have increased the amount of sick time available, while others have introduced policies to grant workers' compensation to nurses who have to quarantine for more than 14 days. 

Jumping in Early

In addition to the experienced nurses who are working tirelessly, many new nurses have jumped into the ring early. In particular, California loosened its requirements for the number of clinical hours nursing students need before becoming licensed. In this state, nearly 10,000 new nurses are ready to jump in early and help as much as possible. To bolster the number of healthcare providers and to get as much assistance as possible, other states may be embracing similar moves.  

Nurses always deserve appreciation, but they deserve even more accolades while dealing with the coronavirus. If you are a nurse — thank you for your service. If you see a nurse, thank them today. 

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