The Coronavirus has now been labelled as a pandemic, spreading across the globe every passing day. At this point, healthcare professionals are raising their concern regarding how this disease can affect the healthcare sector constituting mainly of women.
As of now, it is estimated that women in the United States hold almost 76% of healthcare related job. Particularly in nursing, where medical experts have to deal with diseases at the frontline due to the need of patient interaction, women make up almost 85% of the overall workforce.
In a recent discussion with Pulse Uniform, one of the nurses who wishes to remain anonymous stated that the situation is extremely scary for them. As a nurse, she has worked with patients with different ailments including typhoid, cancer, pneumonia, etc. However, the COVID-19 is a complete different experience.
To date, there is no vaccine to cure the virus. Moreover, with the number of people being infected by it increasing at a fast pace, there is an impeding fear amongst nurses that they will contract the disease while curing it.
Nurses have been sharing their concern that what will happen if they contract the virus, as they also have loved ones at home who are 60 and above or toddlers and infants with weaker immune systems. She said, "We could be the transmitters of this disease in our households without even knowing. Caring for the humanity is now coming with it fair share of fear and loss."
There is an ongoing ambiguity regarding the disease. Today, no hospital is revealing the exact number of COVID-19 patients to their staff. While nurses are aware that tests are taking place regularly and people are being tested positive, the exact figure still remains unknown.
As per the World Health Organization, roughly 70% of the global health care workforce comprises of woman. In China, which is the epicenter of the disease, it is estimated that more than 90% of health workers are woman.
According to the studies conducted in China, men are more likely to die from Corona Virus than woman. However, woman are more likely to catch the disease as they are in close contact with the patients.
In China itself, 3300 healthcare workers have contracted the virus and 13 have lost the battle of life as per Chinese authorities.
Today, nurses are leaving their families, loved ones and everyone behind to fight the COVID-19. The least we can do is value their sacrifice and make it easier for them to work in these difficult circumstances.
Another major concern faced by nurses during this tough time is the lack of protective gear, masks and other essentials. Hospitals are stocking up on these commodities, but due to them being scarce at this hour of need, they have to be careful with allocating the stock.
It is important to understand that healthcare professionals are now at a greater risk, they need protective gear to avoid catching the infections. Throughout the world, healthcare professionals are losing their life and the only way to deal with the situation is by taking proactive measures.
The alarming death rate of healthcare professionals is a wakeup call for the United States healthcare department. It needs to be assured that nurses wear the N95 respiratory mask is worn at all times while dealing with patients.
The procurement department in most hospitals has now implemented protocols where nurses are asked to fill a form if they want one of these essentials to stay protected. While the efforts are to avoid the misuse of these resources, the nurses who are at the frontline have to be extremely careful.
"At this point, we are contemplating between life, death and saving the humanity," said Rachel Aniston, Head Nurse at A Hospital in San Diego.
Moreover another grave concern for nurses is that common people are hoarding and stocking on protective masks. It is a plea of the entire of the healthcare sector to not do so as they require these gear the most to combat the deadly virus.
To further prevent the disease from spreading, please practice social distancing. If you have any of the symptoms, make sure to self-quarantine yourself at home. Do not rush to the hospitals for your small emergencies, rather be safe at home.
With the rapid widespread of the COVID-19, the society needs to come together and play its part. The valor, courage and hard work of nurses will be valued for the generations to come. However, the least we can do is support them.
The entire team at Pulse Uniform pays gratitude to all the nurses playing their part in combating this disease. Thank you for leaving everything behind and playing your role in bringing the world out of this turmoil.