they may be. Here are resources to help them navigate these uncharted waters.
What Clinical COVID-19 Resources Are Available?
Nurses must be prepared to provide complex clinical care, often for multiple patients, while remaining vigilant about infection control and functioning in more restrictive environments. Below are several resources to help you stay up to speed on the rapidly changing COVID-19 clinical guidelines:
Webinars. The American Nurses Association (ANA) offers a webinar series packed with relevant and actionable information to assist in caring for COVID-19 patients. Seven one-hour sessions cover everything from ethics and racial disparities to personal protective equipment and ventilator management skills for non-ICU nurses.
Pocket cards. These simplified reference sheets outline various nursing definitions, care strategies, and interventions. They are particularly helpful for nurses who need a quick refresher. Lippincott NursingCenter offers dozens of readymade care-related pocket cards pertinent to COVID-19, including:
- Arterial Blood Gas Analysis
- Mechanical Ventilation: Settings and Basic Modes
- Recognizing and Managing Sepsis
- Pneumonia in the Adult
- Caring for the Mechanically Ventilated Patient
Public health agencies. Since the severity of the pandemic varies broadly based on location, it is wise to stay informed of recommendations published by local and national public health agencies. Your county and state health departments will often provide timely data and intervention strategies that reflect the local situation. The following sites also continually update research findings, resources and tools for frontline healthcare workers:
Are There Resources to Help Nurses Personally Cope With the Pandemic?
Beyond bolstering your clinical knowledge, finding information to help you cope with the personal impact of the pandemic is critical. Recommend resources include:
Employer programs. Before the pandemic, many employers already had employee assistance programs (EAPs) in place. Given the significant strain — emotional, physical and financial — that nurses are experiencing, these programs are gaining even more traction now. EAPs offer counseling and crisis management services to address stress, grief, work-life balance and family issues. Some may even offer financial resources to accommodate short-term needs. Contact your HR representative to ensure you are aware of all of your program’s offerings.
Digital mental health initiatives. Burnout was already a concern before COVID-19, affecting at least 15% of nurses, according to an April 2019 Joint Commission national nursing engagement report. Between providing care for such critically ill patients, the ongoing risk of exposure, and the potential need to isolate from family and friends temporarily, nurses’ mental health is a top concern. Consider seeking support from one or more of the following initiatives:
- Nurses Together: A peer support group offered by the Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) that brings nurses together through scheduled voice and video calls
- Moodfit: A mobile app to support self-care and wellness goals, such as exercise, nutrition and mindfulness
- Happy: A mobile app that provides one-on-one support and is ideal for nurses working on the frontlines
Connect with colleagues. Sometimes the most effective way to work through challenging times is to connect with others going through the same thing. There are venues to find like-minded colleagues online, chat with them, exchange ideas or just read about their experiences, but a few easily accessible places include:
- Reddit: The social media platform has a nursing subreddit with 150K members
- AllNurses: A networking site for nurses with over five million members
- The Nurse Keith Show: A podcast dedicated to 21st-century nurses and healthcare professionals
- Off the Charts: An expansive blog operated by the American Journal of Nursing (AJN)
Nurses are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress, both at work and at home. By tapping into the wide range of available resources, they can navigate the most challenging moments of the pandemic.
Learn more about the University of South Carolina Aiken online RN to BSN program.