Saint Albans Messenger
When the reality of the COVID-19 pandemic set in, a key part of NMC’s preparations revolved around safety: the safety of patients, family, the public … and the safety of hospital staff. It was critical that staff safety was of highest priority, for without them, we could not care for our patients.
One of the concrete outcomes of the intense safety discussions was the creation of a new clinical role – that of a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) “observer” who oversees nurses and providers when they enter patient rooms, instructing them in how and when to put on and take of gowns, gloves, hair coverings and masks. It sounds like a simple change, but it’s one that had enormous impact.
“We are all aware of how many healthcare workers had become infected with COVID-19 in other areas,” said Anneke Merrit, NMC’s Director of Quality. “This role was critical in protecting our staff. It was also critical in preventing spread of COVID-19 from positive patients to COVID-19 negative patients.”
According to a Reuters report with data from the International Council of Nurses, at least 90,000 health-care workers worldwide are believed to have been infected with COVID-19.