Nurses play crucial roles in providing health services, especially in handling the current Covid-19 pandemic. First and foremost is the caregiver role, where nurses are actively involved for 24 hours in providing nursing care in clinical service settings such as hospitals.
Another is the educator role in which nurses provide education to patients, families, and communities. Almost all the nurses who are currently struggling and involved in handling Covid-19 patients have sacrificed their personal and family interests. As part of the Covid-19 frontline heroes, many have experienced physical and mental fatigue and are vulnerable to contracting the virus.
dr. Fitriana, M.Sc., FM, Secretary of the UGM Covid-19 Task Force, said nurses had a crucial role in collaborating with doctors to deliver health services. From the service management perspective, nurses had a more comprehensive role because of their competence in approaching patients.
According to her, a doctor was a validator and executor, and once these roles were carried out, nurses would play their duty to continue the treatment, especially in Covid-19 cases.
“Once someone is diagnosed with Covid-19, they will drop psychologically. It is where the role of nurses becomes very important because doctors will not provide intensive assistance to patients due to the many demands they face,” she said, Monday (15/2) at Gadjah Mada Medical Center (GMC).
Nurses had the competence and knew how to encourage patients who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, said Fitriana. As they spent plenty of time with patients to provide service, each nurse had very different approaches.
Fitriana said both doctors and nurses had the potential to contract Covid-19 from patients. However, she said, nurses were far more at risk of contracting because they stayed longer with patients as a consequence of the services they provided.
“A doctor meets a patient only during the examination and when proposes for further examination, but the next treatment is a nurse’s duty,” she said.
According to Fitriana, being physically ready was the key to providing Covid-19 handling services at GMC at this time. Being in a difficult situation did not mean that we had to give up but rather encouraged us to cleverly manage it all.
She gave an example that adding new nurses would not necessarily ease the problem. Some nursing graduates might not be interested in clinical-related matters or work.
“There are a lot of nursing graduates, unfortunately not many are interested in becoming clinicians. Thus, amid the limitation, it is necessary to maintain how we can remain resilient and still be able to serve the community. We must protect our physical and psychological state,” she added.
Andi Suryo Nugroho, AMK, field coordinator of the UGM Covid-19 Task Force, added that GMC’s effort to provide Covid-19 services amid the limitation was personnel scheduling. To reduce the risks of getting infected, GMC implemented WFO (work from the office) and WFH (work from home) shift policy. They would have one day of working at the office (GMC) and one resting day to anticipate fatigue.
Another was by daily distributing vitamins, milk, fruit, and food to medical personnel. Everyone working at GMC UGM was not allowed to buy food from outside.
“Such schedules and facilities will result in them to focus on work even more because GMC serves UGM students from all over Indonesia,” he said.
He added GMC provided services for all complaints of illness every day. L2 Building was for non-infectious diseases (no symptoms of cough, runny nose, fever), and L3 Building was for infectious diseases.
“There are more than 300 patients for all complaints every day. Students are currently required to have a health certificate from GMC prior to visiting every faculty at UGM. So, they have to undergo health screening here, and GMC is the center,” he said.
Andi added that for swab tests alone, GMC served 15-25 students every day. The test schedule was based on the screening results conducted by GMC doctors.
“Usually, after the assessment, they are advised to take a GeNose or rapid antigen test. If the result is reactive, they will get a schedule for a swab test. While waiting for the swab schedule, they have to self-isolate at the Baciro Dormitory. This policy also applies to academic staff and lecturers,” he said.
Author: Agung Nugroho