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Local nurses cope with the unforeseen

Emma Pennington, America, 9” x 12”, Colored pencil,

2020, Two Dimensional Design

They put on eyewear, masks, gowns, gloves, and any other personal protective equipment (PPE) they can acquire, while the thought that it isn’t enough to protect themselves from COVID-19 still lingers.

Nurses who work at hospitals in Eastern Pennsylvania are confronted with increased stress and the shortage of PPE due to the surge of vigilance shown by hospitals and the general public against COVID-19.

“We are instructed to continuously monitor ourselves for any symptoms, especially fever, to help limit exposure to other workers and patients,” a local nurse stated. “Knowing we have the proper precautions in place to take care of patients helps to limit both stress and anxiety.”

The daily routine of nurses has been altered and is changing every day, but it is not as drastic as one may surmise.

A new challenge that hospitals face is putting positive COVID-19 patients on units since they require more isolation precautions and other specialized teams to take care of them.

Fast ways of communication, like emails, have helped hospitals stay updated on things like new protocols and policies, potential PPE shortages, and plans for visitors. This allows the hospital to function as a team to deal with this pandemic in the best way possible to help protect workers, patients, and their families.

“Things are still very uncertain,” another local nurse stated. “It can be scary going into work and not knowing what to expect, but being a nurse is very rewarding. We are grateful to have a job and to protect our community from the unknown.”

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