As health care professionals and citizens, we have never experienced this level of impact on our work, economy, food supply, not to mention a complete change in our ability to socialize in the community. We are all concerned about our families, communities and patients.
As a union, we’re here to keep all our members safe and informed—so that we can care for our patients and for the important people in our lives.
Essential Links and Resources on the COVID-19 Page
You can find many useful resources at unacuhcp.org/covid-19. Save this link on your phone and computer and check it frequently for updates.
The page will eventually feature:
- latest news and updates
- links to guidelines from government and health agencies at every level: world, federal, state, county and city—including the CDC, WHO, and state and county health departments
- updates from our employers on policies and protocols in our workplaces, and
- resources for our members and families on how to access food, child care and other information.
Protecting Equipment for Our Caregivers
For our own safety, it’s crucial that we conserve supplies for the coming days and weeks as infection rates grow. We’re currently facing shortages that may grow more severe in some areas. Most employers are moving to cancel all nonessential, or elective, procedures so supplies can be mobilized where needed most.
Keep safe by following all infection control guidelines. Droplet guidelines are currently recommended by most agencies, such as the CDC and the American Nursing Association (ANA). These guidelines state the virus likely travels three feet with a cough or sneeze, then heads toward the ground. So, wash your hands thoroughly and frequently, don’t touch your face, and clean the surfaces around you constantly.
The public should stay away from Urgent Care and emergency departments unless there’s a serious need. Testing right now is limited to patients who will be admitted to the hospital and need ventilators. Everyone else should stay home and take care of themselves.
As nurses and health care professionals, we should take our temperatures every day. If you have a sniffle, cough, or temperature, report it a supervisor.
Responding as Caregivers—and Citizens
We all face this crisis in two roles: caregivers and citizens. As health care professionals, it’s our responsibility to educate others and encourage them to follow guidelines and not promote fear. When you are not at work, stay home as much as possible. Self-isolate if you feel you may be at risk of spreading the virus in your own homes. Don’t hoard food. Share resources and help others. Shelves in stores are emptying due to fear, not real shortages.
As citizens, think about your neighbors.
Working Through This Together
Our UNAC/UHCP field staff and members have shown that most of us are responding with utmost professionalism. We need to continue to be prepared, diligent and compassionate in our work.
Fortunately, many of us are used to working in emergency situations all the time. We’ll get through this the same way—by relying on one another and taking care of one another. Our best path forward is stay focused and follow our training and the updated guidelines.
If you are concerned about what’s going on in your facility, for instance:
- droplet policy guidelines not being properly followed
- someone working who appears to be sick
- escalating and inappropriate behaviors
please report these concerns to your manager and local union leadership.
Our training and teamwork will get us through this.