Nursing is not a fainthearted career, but recent research indicates that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can strike nurses, and suggests that for those on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic, the new coronavirus may increase the incidence and severity of PTSD in this generation of healthcare workers.
A study that was conducted a year ago, and published in the May 5, 2020 issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing indicated especially timely findings of PTSD in front line workers, as nurses around the world manage millions of cases of COVID-19 in extremely challenging circumstances, the researchers noted.
Now is the time for us to begin to show our appreciation for the deep commitment that our brave healthcare workers have put forth to make sure we are all safe and well taken care of.
Good Equipment To Keep Them Safe
One way to show your appreciation for the sacrifices being made by front line healthcare workers is to gift them extra medical clothing, shoes, equipment, and uniforms to ensure their safety while providing care. At the beginning of the Covid-19 spread in the US, spring of 2019, when front line health care workers returned home from work after a long shift, they needed to take some extremely uncomfortable and nerve-wracking steps to prevent bringing any covid virus into their own homes on their clothing, body or shoes after the end of their shift. Since they could not bring their work clothes or shoes into their homes and had to take extreme steps such as possibly having to fully undress outdoors or in a garage before actually entering into their homes – to then immediately enter into a hot shower to lower the chances of bringing the virus into their family home. Since then, this has raised questions of why medical personnel does not always change into and out of contaminated clothing at work (in the UK, it is a ticketable offense to wear work scrubs to and from work since pre-Covid times).
One way to help your favorite healthcare provider and their family stay safe and healthy is to gift your favorite healthcare worker with microbe-resistant scrubs. Medical scrubs were designated Class II medical devices by the FDA in 2018, and are readily available and as affordable as most other scrubs. Clog style shoes such as “Crocs” have always been a cleaner alternative to many other healthcare worker shoes, as they are very easily cleaned with bleach between shifts, and can even be thrown in a washing machine with hot water and bleach between shifts.
Antimicrobial outerwear, unfortunately, is not quite as affordable at this point. There are copper impregnated jackets out there, the science surrounding them states that the fabric will kill viruses and bacteria upon impact – but the price tag is over $1k. In the meantime, most healthcare workers rely on spraying down their cold-weather gear with a bleach solution before heading out of the hospital.
Respiratory Filters and Facial Splatter Shields
Another gift that any medical personnel in your life would be more than happy to have is an N95 filtering respirator (like the half piece 3M respirator), with spare filters. Nurses would also likely appreciate medical-grade goggles, especially those large enough to fit over glasses.
There are new, fancy cell phone sterilizers that can be purchased to disinfect cell phones before returning home from work in a clinical setting, but bleach water will also work (if you’re careful not to get the *inside* of your phone wet. Pretty much everything you took to work needs to be disinfected prior to bringing it home, as the Covid virus manages to stay alive on many types of surfaces for a long time.