Nurses working in general practice and the community are used to having to adapt quickly to new ways of delivering care. But since the start of the pandemic they have needed to respond to situations never experienced before, from providing remote patient consultations and taking part in digital meetings with colleagues, to helping with the roll out of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
Dr Crystal Oldman, CBE, QNI chief executive, says nurses should be ‘immensely proud of what they have been doing for their communities’.
‘For the last 18 months they have sustained their services and supported people. They have learned, and are still continuing to learn how to work with new technologies, and new ways of working with and supporting people remotely. Now they are continuing to learn to support people with long COVID-19,’ she says.
During the pandemic, nurses have been dealing with challenges, and coming up with innovative solutions to provide care safely both remotely, in patient’s homes, and at the GP surgery. Here are just some of the lessons they have been learning to date.
Managing care remotely
With nurses needing to conduct consultations remotely for social isolation purposes, the pandemic has led to in a shift from face-to-face to phone appointments. Increasingly, practitioners have also been prompted to adopt digital tools, including email and video to diagnose and treat patients.