‘Our nurses have all stepped up during this time of need,’ says chief nurse | 26 March 2020
Since the first recorded case of COVID-19 in early March, health workers and officials have been working tirelessly to keep the virus at bay, and no one has been more useful in this effort than the nurses who are picking up the heavy workload in hospitals as well as in the quarantine centres.
Gylian Mein, the chief nursing officer, told Seychelles NATION that they have chosen nurses that are most prepared and have shown an interest to care for patients in isolation and quarantine.
Currently there are 15 nurses who are working at the isolation centre at Perseverance with six health care assistants and two ward attendants.
She added that so far the patients at the isolation unit have been very cooperative and following doctors’ orders. However the patients in quarantine are a bit restless as they have been asked to stay in their rooms.
Ms Mein further noted that they have had to deploy nurses in other departments in order to replace the ones at the hospital to care for the patients on the ward as well as in districts.
As well as making sure of the availability of nurses, Ms Mein noted that they are making sure the nurses working the quarantine and isolation shifts are well rested and get their three off days once they complete their shifts.
The quarantine unit, which was previously at Perseverance, has now moved to the Beau Vallon Bay Resort & Casino and Perseverance has been left only as a treatment unit for all the positive cases. By doing this, the department of health will be able to manage our staff because they will all be in the same unit.
The chief of nurse also noted that all nurses know how to handle and be prepared to treat an infectious disease so this is not a new thing for them, but for COVID-19 training exercises have been done for them with the help of the infectious unit in order to better equip them on how to properly gown up as well as the necessary precautions they must take.
The nurses are also following the necessary guidelines in order for them not to get infected. In the instance that a nurse is infected, he/she will be tested and placed under quarantine.
Many hospitals around the world has seen a shortage in medical equipment such as gloves, face mask and protective gear but Ms Mein noted that for now the nurses and doctors in Seychelles are well equipped and are not missing anything.
“Our nurses working at these centres are also being provided with their lunch and dinner as well as transportation. A few nurses have also suggested staying on site at the isolation centre as it would be more time saving, so the ministry is working on making this happen,” said Ms Mein.
In the likelihood of a major outbreak in the country, the chief nurse noted that they meet two times a day with the committee handling the outbreak to discuss their options in a worst case scenario.
She added that they have been in contact with private nurses in order to get their services in either the hospital taking care of regular patients or at the centre, noting that they have also got in touch with retired nurses.
“I want to thank all nurses and midwives who have all stepped up and are working during this pandemic. There will come a time when your services will be required in other areas that you may not be accustomed to but your support is essential in combating this disease,” ended Ms Mein.