Nurses on the frontline – World Health Day 2020

Today, 7 April, is World Health Day ­­– the day to celebrate the work of nurses and midwives and remind world leaders of the critical role they play in keeping the world healthy. Nurses and other health workers are at the forefront of COVID-19 response, providing treatment and care, leading community dialogue to address fears and questions and, in some instances, collecting data for clinical studies. Quite simply, without nurses, there would be no response.

With this in mind, we wanted to talk to a former Lucid employee, Olivia Steele, who is now an A&E nurse on the frontline.

Olivia, first of all from everyone at Lucid Group, we’d like to say a massive thank you for everything you and your colleagues are doing – you are all truly remarkable and our heroes.

How is life on the frontline?
Thank you very much! Life is different at the minute as it is with everyone. The hospital I work in has significantly changed to accommodate the increasing pressures we are facing across the board and A&E in particular are focussing on starting patients down the correct pathway – COVID or non-COVID – to improve patient experience during a scary time by completely separating the department into two. Ultimately though, teamwork is everything. The importance of teamwork was most definitely something I first learnt during my time at Lucid Group. In fact, the power of good communication, being decisive and always referring to the best evidence were invaluable lessons learnt during my time in med comms. At this point I’d like to express how impressed and grateful I am for everyone involved in these changes and their work ethic, the NHS staff from doctors to housekeepers, the keyworkers including teachers, carers, bin men and supermarket staff.

If there is one piece of advice you could provide everyone with at the moment, what would it be?
I know you’ve all heard it all before, but the biggest difference you can all make is by following these rules: Stay home, protect the NHS and save lives. With this in mind however, I have one more thing to add. We have both COVID areas and non-COVID areas, so if you are experiencing life-threatening symptoms such as chest pain, please still come to A&E as you would have done before.

On such a poignant day highlighting the tremendous contribution from nurses and midwives, here are some key facts as specified by WHO – demonstrating why we all need to #SupportNursesAndMidwives:

  • Globally, 70% of the health and social workforce are women. Nurses and midwives represent a large portion of this
  • Nurses and midwives play a key role in caring for people everywhere, including in times of outbreaks and settings that are fragile or in conflict.
  • Achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and adequately supported nurses and midwives, who receive pay and recognition commensurate with the services and quality of care that they provide.
  • Nurses and midwives have a relationship with their patients that is based on trust; knowing the full picture of someone’s health helps improve care and saves money. They also know the traditions, cultures and practices of their communities, making them indispensable during an outbreak or emergency.
  • Investing more in midwives, who are critical for maternal and newborn health as well as for family planning, could avert over 80% of all the maternal deaths, stillbirths and neonatal deaths that occur today. And when a midwife or group of midwives provides care from pregnancy to the end of the postnatal period, almost a quarter of pre-term births can be prevented.
  • Many countries need to do more to ensure that nurses and midwives can work in an environment where they are safe from harm, respected by medical colleagues and community members, and where their work is integrated with other health-care professionals

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