I sincerely appreciate your question! During this national crisis, we have seen some patient care areas close while others have seen a dramatic drop in census. Some of the clinical settings affected by this include outpatient and ambulatory, surgery centers, elective surgery and clinics.
The reason for the closure is really two-fold. One is to conserve the PPE supplies. Secondly, we are trying to limit exposure to COVID-19 in the acute care settings. So, by eliminating the elective portions and none essential procedures we can both limit possible exposure and conserve PPE.
During these times, the healthcare facility may redirect you to other tasks that you are able to perform. For example, you might be asked to work on another unit, be a screener for patients in the ER, or answer phone calls in the telehealth arena. You should try to be thankful that the facility is not canceling your assignment and sees value in having you available to assist them during this challenging time. That is the stark reality we all must face today.
While I understand this may be a change from your normal assignment, it is also an opportunity for us as nurses to come together to help our colleagues in their time of need. Please make yourself available to assist others and also expand your skill sets. That said, I never want you practice outside your scope of practice at any time. Use this as an opportunity to explore different areas of practice.
These unprecedented times call for us to do unusual things. So, welcome the opportunity. Grow from the experience! Know we stand with you as we all adapt to the changes and challenges placed before us daily. Call and talk with us if you have any questions, concerns or comments.
I look forward to more questions from our nurses. Our goal is to make you successful. Please submit your questions here . Remember: no question is out of order - send them all my way!
Always remember the words of Florence Nightingale: “I attribute my success to this - I never gave or took any excuse.”