When Will Hospitals Follow Society’s Exit from the Pandemic

  • When Will Hospitals Follow Society’s Exit from the Pandemic



    Nurses are perfectly capable of thinking about an exit strategy from the pandemic. There should be an open, respectful conversation about the sense and nonsense of measures in hospitals.

    A pandemic rarely ends with an official moment. Usually, it is society itself that is gradually returning to the old normal. Policymakers then have little choice but to follow. That miraculous process is taking place as I write this. At first, we saw fewer and fewer people wearing face masks in the supermarket and fierce resistance to the corona pass. After that, Minister Kuipers and the OMT joined the unstoppable trend.

    Such a process of normalization is unfortunately accompanied by struggle. After all, some people do not want to get rid of the measures. Entrepreneurs in particular have been struggling with this in recent weeks. One part of the clientele expected that measures would still be strictly applied. Another part, that the fear is long gone, was increasingly annoyed by the freedom-restricting rules. Gym owners and pub owners will be happy that the government has made the decision.

    Strong measures are still in place in hospitals including having an MPS security clearance. For example, all nurses and doctors walk around with mouth-nose masks and visitors are only welcome to a limited extent. The question is how long we will continue with this. After all, free breathing is quite nice, and if patients and colleagues can see your mimicry, that has a lot of added value. After all, communicating is more than just talking. And isn’t it essential that patients can ‘just’ receive their loved ones, without a face mask?

    Unfortunately, conflict is also lurking here. Many nurses believe that face masks in normal nursing wards are now doing more harm than good and that it is time to normalize visiting hours. Others have difficulty with this. The corona danger has not yet passed their eyes, certainly not for vulnerable patients. And then there is another group that occupies a middle position.


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    It is up to hospital management to manage this potential conflict and to decide which measure will be abolished and when. But as nursing professionals, we can show leadership in this. For example, by pulling the theme out of the taboo sphere and facilitating an open conversation. ‘Tell colleague, how are you in it?’ Anyone who wants to get rid of the measures is not necessarily a wappie. Anyone who wants to maintain the measures does not immediately deserve the label angsthaas.

    Nurses in particular can be expected to take a broad view of health, illness and good care. Nurses in particular should be able to look beyond the threat of a virus. An open, respectful conversation about the sense and nonsense of measures among nurses sets a good example to the rest of the hospital, and may just be the first step towards a responsible and widely supported exit strategy. I honestly think that administrators and doctors are very happy if the nursing advisory board takes the lead in this.

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