By Morgan Bridgeman,
Student Writer, ASU,
The COVID-19 pandemic has chang-ed the scope of how this country and even the rest of the world operates, especially in the medical field. These medical professionals on the front lines have had to find alternative ways to treat these patients while keeping both parties safe. These alternative methods have not only been established in hospitals but also in nursing homes.
Nursing homes such as Clinton HealthCare, LLC in Clinton, Mississippi, have made strides to keep their residents safe such as allowing no visitors in the facility at this time. These actions have been in place since day one to be in accordance with Gov. Reeves’ and the CDC’s guidelines.
The nurses at Clinton HealthCare, LLC have been leading the fight in the cause for resident safety. They have been proactive in making sure they do not spread any germs to residents who are more at risk to contracting the virus while also treating them with the level of care that each individual resident needs.
“Resident care is still the number one priority but we have to be even more cautious now. We still try to be as personable with residents as possible but now it is from a distance and not up close and personal as it once was,” Director of Nursing Tonja Johnson states.
Johnson acknowledges that certain aspects of nurse care, such as administering medication, still have to be done closely. That is why it is mandatory for all employees to wear masks at all times and for nurses to wear gloves when they are interacting with patients.
The facility has also made it mandatory for employees as well as residents to be screened for symptoms daily at the beginning of every shift using the CDC guidelines. Employees are also required to follow handwashing and sanitizing techniques regularly throughout their work shift.
Since the facility is not accepting visitors at this time, nurses and other staff members have come up with ways to keep residents connected. They have limited in-person doctor visits, unless it’s an emergency, but have instead switched to telehealth appointments with family permission. Residents are allowed to connect to each other with small distance activities.
The facility has also been able to keep their residents connected with their family. Family members are allowed to sit outside the resident’s window as well as video calls. Recently, the facility organized a family parade, and with the help of nurses, where residents were able to sit outside as their loved ones drove around.
“During this pandemic, it is important that our residents still feel personal connections with their family as well as the staff. The nurses have been really helpful in helping residents still feel engaged,” Social Worker Tonja Bridgeman states.
Clinton HealthCare, LLC is just one of many nursing homes that have developed different methods due to the pandemic. Leading the charge are the nurses who like many others put their lives on the front lines.
During Nurse’s Appreciation Week, now more than ever, we should show nurses appreciation for what they do.
Morgan Bridgeman, a junior mass communication student at Alcorn State University, is from Jackson, MS. On campus she had a radio show called the Advice Haven with DJ Mo Elise.