Our front-line nurses in emergency departments, urgent care facilities, hospital units and triage areas have stepped up to care for our patients and each other during the national emergency of the coronavirus. This is a crisis unlike any we have faced in our lifetimes – a global pandemic. It has stressed our health care system and is forcing nurses to work in ways that go against so much that we have been taught about infection control.
WSNA leadership has been coordinating the response to COVID-19 with Washington’s Department of Health, local public health jurisdictions and, of course, our members. We have been working tirelessly with federal and state partners, and we’re advocating for your needs with employers. WSNA is working to provide nurses with the most up-to-date answers to frequently asked questions and connecting you with resources. We will continue to support and encourage each other.
Our long-term care communities have taken a big hit, and we want to support you, our colleagues and health care providers in this arena. Long-term care nursing is a growing sector, and WSNA is committed to furthering and supporting registered nurses working in long-term care. This issue of The Washington Nurse includes a section on long-term care nursing practice. I am excited that WSNA is taking the lead on educating members about the contributions our community-based and long-term care providers make to their residents, their profession and the community. Our nurses have the responsibility and challenge to promote health and wellbeing and prevent illness and injury of the older adult and disabled child. They are dedicated to the families and other caregivers.
Long-term care covers many different care settings, including skilled nursing facilities, assisted living communities, adult family homes and pediatric long-term care. It is a sector that continues to grow as people look for community-based options that meet their medical care and assisted living needs.
We all know these communities, which have skilled and professional nurses, are a necessary link in the continuum of care. The Washington State Nurses Association has established a task force to study community-based and long-term care issues. This work began before the coronavirus pandemic hit and will continue after we have responded to the COVID-19 crisis.
We honor the nurses in long-term care facilities, public and community health, and hospitals around the state who are working on the front lines of the crisis in these challenging times.
Thank you for all each and every one of you does every day to care for patients and communities.
YES — Nurses Make a Difference!