Right now face masks and social distancing are essential for nurses, but that makes human connection during COVID-19 more difficult. Many nurses have recently gotten creative while working through this challenge and have come up with various ways to make personal connections with their patients. In addition, these tactics can also help maintain the patients’ relationships with friends and family.
Here are 4 ways nurses are making human connections during the COVID-19.
1) Facetime With Friends and Family
Nurses in Indianapolis have specifically been encouraging their patients to video chat with their loved ones during this challenging time. Everyone can benefit from seeing their close friends and family. This is true even when you are unable to speak due to a ventilator. This is especially true during any difficult situation such as a life threatening disease or injury. Acknowledging this fact, many nurses around the country are helping their patients use video call platforms like Facetime, Zoom, and Skype to boost morale and emotional well being.
There are numerous benefits to keeping patients in contact with those close to them. This outlet has proven to reduce stress and anxiety. In addition, improving mood also tends to increase motivation. All of these positive consequences tend to provide patients with a swift recovery, which is the main goal during any hospital stay. No one wants to be alone during a scary time, and luckily due to modern technology, there is this new way to see and connect loved ones during social distancing.
2) Taping Pictures of Their Faces on Clothes
The necessary full face and body protective gear that medical staff working with COVID 19 patients must wear have created unforeseen problems. Face masks, though protective and mandatory, also hide medical workers’ faces. This unfortunately often makes those with the novel coronavirus feel isolated. To help with this complication, nurses around the United States have been taping full faced photos of themselves onto their uniforms.
Even just showing patients a picture of their smile can make the treatment experience feel less lonely and unwelcoming. It’s a way nurses (and others) make human connection during COVID-19 protocols. Creating a more personal and friendly atmosphere can make this emotional and difficult treatment a little easier for COVID 19 patients, which is the least that we can do for those in coronavirus treatment and recovery.
3) Arranging Window Visits With Loved Ones
Many friends and families have arranged window visits with their hospitalized loved ones by having nurses bring patients to a window where they will be waiting across the street. Oftentimes, they will also be carrying signs with words of comfort and optimism. This, like many of the other outlets for forming and maintaining personal connections, has greatly improved the morale and motivation of patients with COVID 19.
Although video chatting also allows for friends and families of coronavirus patients to communicate, physically being close can be very meaningful on both sides of the window. In addition, employing multiple outlets of communication and distanced human contact can be even more effective than only using one during this time. It is always nice to know that those close to you are there to support you during tough times, even if it needs to be from across the street.
4) Speaking to Patients, Even When They’re on Ventilators
Patients are sedated and unresponsive on ventilators. Still, nurses want to care for them just in case they have some awareness. This is why some nurses have been making an effort to talk to patients on ventilators even when they are unresponsive. In addition to scheduling video calls and window visits with patients’ loved ones, words of encouragement given from the medical staff themselves are meant to lift a patient’s spirit in an extremely trying time. It’s amazing that during COVID-19, nurses remember that even sedated patients still deserve human connection just like anyone else. It’s a great example of nurses’ capacity for empathy.
Although providing words of encouragement and sympathy can benefit any patient, this is especially helpful for patients that cannot visit with their families and friends. Even with outlets like video calls and window visits, treatment of the novel coronavirus can still feel isolating. Forming close personal connections with the medical staff can help make this recovery process feel less lonely, even when on a ventilator.
The work that nurses have been doing during this time to make patients feel comfortable during their hospital stays throughout the COVID 19 pandemic is amazing. A main way this is happening is by nurses finding ways to make human connection during COVID-19. Providing outlets for friends and families to keep in contact with their sick loved ones and encouraging and sympathizing with their patients themselves has done wonders in making some positives during this trying and tragic pandemic. The fact that all COVID 19 patients are people deserving of human contact and empathy can not be stressed enough, and medical staff across the country have made important steps to maintain this element of their patients’ human social and emotional needs.
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