Nurses Provide More Covid-19 Advice

Nurses+Provide+More+Covid-19+Advice

Photo courtesy of Hailey Hema

Michelle Chang is a nurse at Straub Medical Center in Honolulu and has been working there for 12 years. Chang was born and raised in Oahu. She is a frontline worker which means she is exposed to the coronavirus. Since the coronavirus pandemic, rules and steps have been made at Straub that Chang would like to update people on.

Hospitals around the world are taking precautions for everyone’s safety in this pandemic. During this outbreak society norms are changing and hospitals have new procedures. Straub Medical Center is one of the many hospitals that are making changes.

“Straub is really trying to better their system for everyone’s safety,” said Chang, a 32-year-old nurse at Strub Medical Center. “Things have been pretty crazy at the hospital but these protocols are needed. I work in the ER so I get a lot of patients panicking that they might have the virus. And let me just tell you, it’s a good thing that we offer testing kits.”

The staff goes through regular training for reducing infection risks, which includes proper use of personal protective equipment and protocols for isolating and caring for patients who present symptoms or test positive for these types of conditions. Straub is also in close contact with the Hawaii Department of Health regarding the current situation here in Hawaii and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention on the latest guidelines for health care providers and facilities.

If you plan to visit Straub these are the updates on visitation hours and protocols. Pediatric patients are allowed one adult visitor and will be allowed at the patient’s bedside. Obstetric patients can have one adult visitor that will be allowed at the patient’s bedside. This applies to patients being assessed for labor, admitted in labor or for elective or C-section delivery, or postpartum. All other adult patients are not allowed visitors at this time. In addition, exceptions may be made at the physician’s discretion.

“Try to stay home as much as possible,” said Chang. “Wash your hands frequently. If you go out, wear a mask and take a shower as soon as you get home. Have a distance between yourself and other people. Make sure you’re also cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. If I couldn’t stress this enough, just please be aware of whats going on so you can protect yourself.”

Straub has drive-up testing or walk-up testing. If driving up, only patients with a physician order are accepted to get tested at the specimen collections sites. Patients should have their driver’s license and insurance card ready. Patients will be directed to roll their windows up and keep them rolled up until otherwise instructed. Patients will be directed to park in a stall where staff will use a secure device to take a picture of the patient’s driver’s license and insurance card. 

Staff wearing the appropriate PPE will instruct the patient to roll down the window and will explain the nasopharyngeal swab process. After the specimen collection, patients will be given a sheet that explains what to do after being tested for Covid-19. It’s important for patients to follow self-isolation instructions until test results are received.

If arriving by foot, it’s the same case with those arriving in a car, only patients with a physician order will be tested at the specimen collections sites. Driver’s license or government ID and insurance card should be ready. Patients will be instructed to wear an isolation mask and keep the isolation mask on. If the patient approaches without an isolation mask, one will be provided. 

There will be a direction for a seated area in the parking lot and follow the testing procedure. The collection process takes about 5 minutes. After follows the same when the specimen collection, patients will be given a sheet that explains what to do after being tested for Covid-19. It’s important for patients to follow self-isolation instructions until test results are received.

Chang said Straub plans to keep updating and informing the public at their website Straub Medical Center if anything changes. Straub is just one of the many hospitals going through this hard time. An alumna of Chaminade University, Hailey Hema, is a nurse at Scripps Coastal Medical Center Hillcrest in San Diego, Calif.

Hema was born and raised in Oahu. She has been working at Scripps for two years. She moved because her husband is in the military and got transferred to San Diego. Since the outbreak rules have been set into place for the patients and staffs safety at Scripps. Also as this pandemic continues, a worry of shortage on products have sparked, said Hema.

“Precautions are being set into place against a shortage of masks,” said Hema, a 23-year-old nurse at Scripps Coastal Medical Center. “Scripps’ plan is to allow their workers to bring our own mask if we run out. All the products anyone would need to protect themselves is what we need at the hospitals.”

Masks are just one of the many products that hospitals around the world use. Hema said that gloves could run out as well, and a solution hasn’t been made yet about that. There is even a limit on how many sanitary items you can buy. The hospital has hand sanitizers all around the facility. If they run out, it would be a bad thing, said Hema.

When visiting Scripps, all visitors are restricted from the hospital until further notice. Exceptions will be made for those visiting a patient on comfort or end-of-life care or who are the coach and partner of a maternity patient. Also visitors will be given wristbands to wear.

Companions must wait outside or in their vehicle unless their assistance is necessary to help the patient complete their care. Bring your own mask or face coverings with you to help prevent transmission from infected individuals who may or may not have symptoms of the coronavirus.

If you do not have a face covering, you may not be allowed enter the facility. Patients are encouraged to bring their protective face coverings when coming to a Scripps facility. Hema encourages family, friends, patients, and strangers to wear masks everywhere they go.

“Everyone should be wearing a mask,” said Hema. “If this whole pandemic comes to a stop, everyone should still be wearing them. Just because state officials say it’s fine now, they don’t really know that for sure. Covid-19 will never be gone, so for your protection, wear it.”