Meet Premier Nursing Academy’s COVID-19 Crusaders
At Premier Nursing Academy, we continue to train Certified Nursing Assistants (CNAs), who are essential workers on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether it be in the hospital, skilled nursing facilities, or clinics, our graduates are in demand, fully prepared, and ready and willing to take on the challenge. A few of our students share thoughts on joining the battle to fight COVID-19:
Corrie Etoll: I’ve had the passion to be in healthcare. I’ve been in a healthcare facility off and on for probably 15 years. For me now, the passion is even greater because of the people that really need the help. They can’t do for themselves.
Kathleen Robertson: I still want to be a CNA through this pandemic because the residents need someone there socially and mentally to take care of them. They can’t do everything by themselves.
Toni Sumlin: During this time, I would want someone to be there for me. This is what makes me passionate about being a CNA at this time.
How to Help COVID-19 Crusaders Across the U.S.
We are so proud of our Premier Nursing Academy CNA students, graduates, and all healthcare professionals who are working diligently during the time of this COVID-19 pandemic. We know that COVID-19 frontline providers have a challenging and stressful job. Front-line employees must take time to recharge, renew, and practice self-care during this time. Below are six ways that you can help support our front-line workers behind the scenes while still following recommendations for social distancing and help flatten the curve of transmission.
1. Provide Food and Care Packages
Offer to take snacks or lunch to your healthcare professional and coworkers or arrange to have something delivered – from drinks and microwave popcorn to coffee and donuts, to even a catered lunch – everything is appreciated! During the busy time of the COVID-19 pandemic, healthcare workers often don’t have time to eat or drink regular meals during their shifts. Some hospital cafeterias have closed or have limited hours and selections. Sometimes these healthcare professionals don’t have time to grocery shop or don’t want to be exposed in the community before working their shifts.
You can also drop off care packages to your healthcare professional’s front door. Even just a few small items can be thoughtful and helpful. Items such as healthy packaged snacks they can take to work and caffeinated beverages to help keep them going during a long shift. Examples like microwave popcorn, gum and mints, granola bars, cheese sticks, trail mix, beef jerky, and fruits are simple and easy to put in a care package.
Self-care items may also be particularly helpful to donate and share. Front-line employees are finding it harder to disengage after long, stressful shifts. Having self-care items readily available helps them take the time for themselves to recharge. Some examples include lotions, candles, facemasks, aromatherapy, books, and magazines.
Lastly, gift cards for food and services are also great ideas to include in care packages. Gas cards to help fill their tanks, gift cards to local restaurants, and coffee shops help support local businesses while also helping healthcare professionals. Gift cards or credit to shopping and meal delivery services, like Instacart or Door Dash, can be helpful. If you can’t get out to shop for items, you can call to arrange a meal delivery to their house, or consider sending them money by Venmo so they can get exactly what they need.
2. Lessen the Load
Healthcare professionals often work long shifts, and many are now working many extra shifts to keep up with the demands and patient loads. That means they are unable to care for beloved family and pets at home. Offer to pet sit during their shifts or walk their dogs a few times per day. If you are able, offer to help with childcare, tutoring, or homeschooling their children as they finish up distance learning. Offer to shop for their groceries, especially if you are already out shopping for yourself. Healthcare workers are not able to shop after their shifts due to the need to get home to change and shower.
3. Social Distance Socializing
Self-Care is essential to the mental health and well-being of our frontline workers. A large part of that is being able to connect with friends outside of healthcare and taking time to do other self-care activities. So, talk to them! Set up video calls for game night or girl’s night, text them funny memes, and send them funny You-tube videos or Tik Tok videos.
Encourage the continuation of healthy habits. Your healthcare friend needs time to recharge and refill their cup. Offer to be their remote work-out buddy and hold each other accountable. You can still have your weekly walking date by taking a walk in your respective neighborhoods while chatting on the phone together and catching up.
4. Use Your Talents
Use your talents to help sew masks and donate to local health facilities. There are many patterns available for free online. Some health care systems are donating medical grade material to those willing to sew masks to donate back to the facility. Sew buttons onto headbands as “ear savers” for those wearing masks all day. If you have one available, you can even use a 3D Printer to print plastic mask adapters to help protect ears. Engage your children to help and give back too. Crafts, such as homemade cards and pictures, are sweet gestures that help bring a smile to loved ones’ faces.
Even if you don’t feel creative, you can make a difference by donating blood or plasma. There are shortages of blood available for blood transfusions. If you have recovered from COVID-19 disease, you can help with research and treatment of current patients by donating plasma for convalescent plasma transfusions. Visit the Red Cross to find the nearest place in your region to give the gift of blood donation.
Are you great at getting others involved and organizing activities? Put together a local PPE drive for people to donate unused PPE items.
5. Maintain and Follow Local Guidelines
Practice social distancing and use recommended health precautions. Going to the grocery store, or somewhere else in public? Even if your region is phasing back into re-open businesses, it is still recommended to wear a mask in public. Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your face. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 or have a known exposure, please notify your healthcare provider and self- quarantine for the recommended 14 days.