Nursing in the Covid-19 pandemic: notes by a trauma nurse at a London Level 1 Trauma Centre (blog first published on 18 March 2020)
The NHS still aren’t testing frontline staff who are symptomatic for the virus, meaning if we have a fever and/or a cough we are told to self-isolate for seven days.
If someone we live with has symptoms, we must self-isolate for 14 days, or from seven days once we start to show symptoms.
Right now, the health service is desperate for workers and many of us will unnecessarily stay home because we aren’t tested and had mild symptoms caused my something else.
On my last night shift, an HCA I work with developed a fever and we sent him home. He’s been told he must stay home for a week, his fever disappeared after a day and he wants to come back, and we want him to come back, it’s all hands on deck right now.
“The daily number of infected people on the news is completely meaningless”
If the NHS tested staff in this situation, we would know if it’s safe for them to work. There are posts on my twitter feed from consultants in the same situation, they’re irreplaceable.
There’s another reason we should be testing staff. If we have contracted the virus and don’t know, we could pass it onto each other, the people we live with and to other patients who are already vulnerable, the elderly or those with comorbidities.
We are coming into contact with Covid-19 all the time, we have no idea how many people are infected either because we are no longer testing people who self-isolate at home with symptoms.
The daily number of infected people on the news is completely meaningless. We have no idea how many people in the UK have Covid-19.
As the World Health Organization have said, test, test, test.
Nursing Times is publishing blogs written by Covid19 Nursing, a trauma nurse at a London Level 1 Trauma Centre. Find out more at their blog site and follow them on Twitter @Covid19Nursing