What does a vaccine actually do?

The vaccine contains a small amount of either the weakened virus or dead virus which does not harm the recipient. It only stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies to fight the virus.

Risks were initially low but gradually all healthcare workers facing COVID patients were potentially at higher risk, transmitting the virus even to their households and families. There was also an increase of risks among the household of the frontline healthcare workers.

After the loss of lives, going through various detrimental factors, and over time there were some working practices that needed to be incorporated especially for nurses and carers to help them survive this pandemic, as they had dedicated their lives to their profession. Not only they’d risked their own lives but also have risked those of their families and friends with whom they are in constant contact. 

In respect of this aspect, certain practises needed to be changed in order to be protected from the virus: 

  • All Healthcare workers were asked to wear proper personal protective gear when always assisting to patients.
  • Utility of proper hand hygiene in order to stop the spread through droplets, sneeze and cough.
  • Separating patients and isolating them according to their symptoms of suspected or confirmed cases.
  • Proper PPE, such as disposable gloves, aprons, masks and visors to be worn where necessary.
  • Introduction of surgical fluid-resistant mask to be worn when dealing with patients. It is imperative that the use of a filtering respirator and visor would be more protective when on duty.

Following is a list of the dos and don’ts for nurses and healthcare assistants to prevent themselves and their family members from contracting the virus:

  • The masks should be well-fitting covering both the nose and the mouth. The mask should not be loose or dangle around the neck while in close contact with the patient or in the same area.
  • Staff Uniforms should be washed separately or taken away from work in a separate disposable plastic bag for washing at home. Other clothes should not be mixed up with the working gown during the washing process.
  • Nurses who have been tested positive and have recovered can be assigned to the patients who are in isolation or in cohort wards. 

Nurses and health care assistants suffer not only physically but also have mental health issues due to the fear of contracting the virus, separation from loved ones, and redeployment. Some steps can be taken to reduce the intensity of pressure and anxiety in them such as:. 

  • Rotation of shifts from high stress to low-stress functions
  • The partnership of experienced and inexperienced workers
  • Work breaks are essential/flexible schedules
  • Easy access to support services

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