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This content is taken from the Johns Hopkins University, Jhpiego & Johns Hopkins School of Nursing 's online course, COVID-19: Effective Nursing in Times of Crisis. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsWe were running short of PPE. We had begun reusing our disposable gowns. I had to bring my own N95 mask, because we were issued only surgical masks and asked to reuse those, as well. Even the gloves did not fit me I found patient blood that had dripped into the inside of my glove and onto my skin. It was all very scary. All the residents were living with HIV/AIDS, and several now were battling COVID-19, as well.

Skip to 0 minutes and 40 secondsYoung registered nurse Sherry Chen had only recently completed her training. She had heard the call from the governor of her home state asking volunteers to help them in the fight against COVID-19. Despite never having worked before in a nursing home, Sherry Chen was assigned to one that housed 40 patients with HIV across four floors.

Skip to 1 minute and 6 secondsThe COVID-19 virus was spreading rapidly through this nursing home. The nurses and other staff members were falling ill, too. On my third day, I was given charge of a complete floor full of patients, some of whom refused to stay inside their rooms. There were days I was the only registered nurse left. Nurse Sherry Chen's story epitomises the global narrative on COVID-19. Filled with older people who are more susceptible to the virus, nursing homes are now the front lines in the battle against the virus.

Skip to 1 minute and 43 secondsBut it is left to nurses like Sherry Chen, and perhaps yourself, to be proactive and take charge in these situations.

Skip to 1 minute and 53 secondsSo this week, we will focus on the topic of leadership. As nurses, our public image is always about empathy and public service. And sometimes what we actually do is invisible. How often do we make an intervention and take the lead? In this week's course, we will learn what makes an effective intervention. We'll explore the ethics behind actions in the time of a crisis. We'll also hear from nurses on their personal experience, showing leadership on the front lines. Nurse Sherry had to deal with oversized gloves. But she took up the gauntlet and rose to the situation.

Skip to 2 minutes and 38 secondsShe went beyond her comfort level to take care of patients suffering from both HIV and COVID-19 at a nursing home that lacked staff and resources. It is at these times that your moral compass comes into play. But what would you do as a nurse? Take the plunge to save patient's lives? Or be smart, and listen to your training, save your own life so as to save an even greater number of people later? Share with us your opinion in the light of your own experience. Welcome to Week Two.

Welcome to Week 2

Welcome back to Week 2 of this course.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in nurses finding themselves in challenging circumstances: wearing PPE, working in different environments and working in time-limited circumstances. For many, there can also be a tension between an individualized, patient-centered approach and the need for a more public-focused approach to resource allocation.

Many nurses face significant uncertainty, sadness and anguish. The death and suffering of patients and colleagues has led many nurses to experience moral distress, the emotional state arising from situations where nurses feel their ethical values and morals are challenged.

This week, we will work alongside nurse Sherry Chen, who answered the call to return to her home in New Jersey to assist in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic. As you heard in the short video, Sherry’s story is one of bravery, duty, and high risk. While she remains committed to her patients and to providing the best care in the most trying of situations, she is also challenged with taking a leadership role in a complex and demanding set of circumstances.

This week we will also go deeper into our journey as we think about how we must adapt our approach and our practice. We’ll be exploring what makes an effective intervention, and how data can support effective decision making throughout this week. We’ll also reflect on our ethical values and identify how these can be challenged in a crisis.

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This video is from the free online course:

COVID-19: Effective Nursing in Times of Crisis

Johns Hopkins University