The COVID-19 pandemic has given a new level of support for front life healthcare champions. National Nursing Week 2020, which is from May 11 to May 17, has given Canadians an opportunity to share further support for their nurses, and gain a greater appreciation of the work they do.
“It is such a privilege to be working side-by-side with some of the most dedicated, committed, and talented clinical staff. I’m very grateful to be having this opportunity to do this work,” Ladysmith Community Health Centre, (LCHC), leader, Shauna McGoldrick said.
In the in face of the COVID-19 pandemic, McGoldrick said that nurses at LCHC are focused on safety, and prevention.
“A lot of our work flow is being mandated by the provincial health officers, and our medical health officers around what it looks like to keep people safe,” McGoldrick said.
All visitors at the LCHC undergo screening procedures to keep patients, staff, and the public safe. Nurses wear personal protective equipment (PPE), practice regular and thorough hand washing, and maintain physical distancing as much as possible. The LCHC has also pivoted to provide more online services to screen visitors for COVID-19.
“We now have a program called Intensive Home Health Monitoring. It’s a new program for people who are showing symptoms of illness or are suspected of having COVID. There are ways to monitor them virtually,” McGoldrick said.
Nanaimo General Hospital and Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria have been designated as COVID-19 response centres. McGoldrick said that designation is helpful for directing any COVID-19 patients that seek care at the LCHC.
“We know which people should go to which facility. All of our clinicians are also specialized at responding to situations whether they’re COVID-19 suspected or not. It’s all the same critical care skills,” she said.
Although the staff at LCHC have made a lot of changes inside the facility to adapt to COVID-19, McGoldrick said that the heart of Nurses Week has remained the same.
“We’re recognizing our champions in this fight. We’re all recognizing that we’re all responsible for keeping each other safe. In a way, it’s a the same. At the same time, the nurses are really being recognized in being those champions. They’re doing what they’ve always done in a lot of ways.”
McGoldrick said that she appreciates the nightly shows of support from the community, and the continued support shown during nurses week. However, the best way to show continued support is by staying home, and staying healthy.
“I think that every nurse would say that what they really want is for people to keep up their good work. Keep up your good work of sticking to the guidelines to keep COVID-19 at bay,” McGoldrick said.