Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC
Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC

So, a lot of us in long-term care were on the CDC Clinician Outreach and Communication Activity (or COCA) call Tuesday. (There will be another one for long-term care providers Monday, March 23.) 

After updating us on the impact of the novel coronavirus on our patient population, and the newly imposed restrictions (you all know them, so …), they also spoke of the mortality rate of our vulnerable population. 

If you’re age 60 or older and get this virus, you have a 1 in 12 chance of dying (which I am sure over half the people listening in had an “oh crap!” moment since that is the average age of our current nursing workforce). For 80 or older, there’s a 1 in 5 chance of mortality. This is without the comorbid conditions such as heart or lung disease, diabetes or a BMI of 40 or over. 

So of course, the conversation and questions to the two doctors who were presenting were around protecting our population and personal protective equipment (PPE), which is harder to get right now than a roll of toilet paper or bottle of hand sanitizer!

They gave guidance on how we can reuse certain PPE. (Listen to the call, it will be posted on the site this week). No one has come up with a suitable answer to increase production of this critical equipment to the extent we need right now.

After the call, a few of us (who by the way did sit six feet apart for the webinar) decided we needed a walk.  We passed by a construction site and, no kidding, the construction workers had white paper gowns, white masks and eye protection.  

Come on, we nurses need this stuff more than they do! I told my buddies that I thought we could take them (nurses are pretty tough when we want something). But they looked at me like I had lost my mind! Seriously, though, give us the construction workers’ PPE. 

Come on, nurses unite! (But don’t do a smackdown — that was a joke!)

Just keeping it real, 

Nurse Jackie

The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, Senior Director of Clinical Innovation and Education for Mission Health Communities, LLC and an APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real-life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.