The Australian College of Nursing (ACN) has assured that the nation’s nurses are well trained and ready to protect the community in the event of a coronavirus outbreak in Australia. “While this coronavirus is new, nurses are trained to deal with infectious diseases and are ready to support Australians just as they always have and always will,” ACN CEO Adjunct Professor Kylie Ward FACN explained.
“This is business as usual for our nurses. “We have already seen stories emerging of nurses meeting planes to check passengers for symptoms. Nurses’ contribution to Australia’s response to this novel coronavirus will cover all aspects including care, leadership and research.
“This is the Year of the Nurse and Midwife. During this crisis we are reminded of how important nurses are to health care in Australia and around the world, and why they are the most trusted profession. During our worst of times, nurses are here for us all.”
Ward explained that nurses make up more than half of Australia’s health workforce and are usually the first professional to see a patient. Nurses are often the point of triage and will spend more time with patients than other professionals.
“To assist nurses, health agencies must ensure advice is up to date, consistent and readily available, and employers have a responsibility to distribute information immediately and provide the recommended protective equipment, training in use and appropriate facilities, including isolation spaces,” she said.
“While we cannot take our focus from keeping Australians safe from this latest challenge, this should be a wake-up call that as a nation we must invest more in preventing and preparing for outbreaks of infectious viruses.” The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB) has recognised global shortcomings in pandemic readiness and has developed seven steps countries should adopt to prepare for a disease outbreak.
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