By: Nicolette Anne Ubas
Abu Dhabi, 12 August, 2020: 0530H to 0600H. Men and women in blue scrub suits pacing through their way to the bus station. Individually in search for waiting for their specific driver to bring them to their patients respective homes. A sense of exhaustion and perseverance mirrored their eyes (as it is the only part exposed by their masks) as they set foot to work.
N - New Perspective
The unprecedented coming of this pandemic shaken the different industries but challenged most especially the health industry. Hospitals were jam-packed with COVID patients that even required new facilities, thus increased the need for manpower. Healthcare workers (HCW) are finally appreciated as they frontline the fight against the virus, risking their own health and some even putting themselves in quarantine to ensure safety of their loved ones.
Everybody's lives changed in a snap. Not excluding us, men and women in blue scrub suits, who may not directly work in hospitals but also daily warrior the chance of getting infected by going out, because life did not stop for our patients. The more they even need their homecare doctor, nurses, and caregivers to keep them safe and healthy in the comfort of their own homes, and in a world filled of fear as of the moment, this made a difference.
0630H to 0730H. One by one, the staffs are dropped and picked up. Homecare workers change shift, endorse patients, and communicate nursing care plans to ensure continuity of care.
U - Unity
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." - Helen Keller
The collaborative efforts of the healthcare team (doctors, nurses, caregivers, clinical case manager, etc.) contribute to a better quality of life of our patients. Heavy loads become manageable when accomplished with shared efforts.
Although the staff came from different walks of life, with various family background, education, culture, religion, and political views, we are unified by our vision in Wahat Al Aman and our commitment to serve humanity. Each one has a role to play no matter how big or small, and goals were only achieved with teamwork and cooperation.
0700H to 0700H. 24 hours of nursing care and interaction with the patient and family. Fulfilling nursing responsibilities of proper oxygenation, nutrition, elimination, activity and exercise, hygiene, thermoregulation, medication and administration, etc. Being careful to finish the shift without any patient injury or procedure error, without any reprimands from the family, and trying hard to keep eyes wide open until a colleague comes the next day.
R - Resilience
As a Japanese saying goes, fall down seven times, get up eight. As Healthcare Workers, we have been through a lot since we were in school. Even though anxiety and fear enveloped us during this time, "that which does not kills us makes us stronger" (literally).
Most of the staff go in duty carrying personal and family dilemmas, problems, and anxieties at different weight and degree. All of them missing their families for sure. But despite these burdens, professionalism is exhibited at its finest by the staffs.
That's why visiting home care patients is such a beautiful scenario, you will see patients holding on with their family members, and at the bedside are hurting and tired, but strong and resilient nurses.
S - ٍSupport
"No man is an island." Healthcare workers support their patients and in effect, they also need support.
According to Dr. Arthur Kleinman, "There is a moral task of caregiving, and that involves just being there, being with that person and being committed. When there is nothing that can be done, we have to be able to say, "Look, I'm with you with this experience. Right through to the end of it." And this mostly comprise, the inspiring stories of homecare nursing.
As Healthcare Workers support matters much to the patient, the same way that all the support received by nurses and caregivers are very valuable. Support from families, friends, colleagues, supervisors and leaders
E - Empathy
One of the greatest characteristics of a nurse is being able to empathize with others. Being able to put themselves in another person's shoes. In that way, they become sensitive of what and how they speak and act with others. In that way, they become more understanding and less judgmental of the other person's attitude. In that way, they become more humane in dealing with others.
We all need an emphatic ears to speak to, an empathetic shoulder to cry on, and an emphatic hearts and hands to help others especially in this time of crisis.
A nurse' day may just be another duty schedule plotted, but for the ones in the field, it takes a lot of new perspective, unity, resilience, support, empathy to get through. This pandemic changed our lives, redirected our plans, and even overhauled out belief system, but this too shall pass. May we continue to N.U.R.S.E through.