Nursing Care Strategy: Enhancing ICU Management Skills During The Pandemic

Intensive Care Unit with complete medical equipment

Nurses' lives in healthcare systems saw a sudden paradigm shift as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic catastrophe, creating demanding and overwhelming obstacles in their daily fight against this illness. As frontline healthcare providers in the fight against COVID-19, nurses have a big obligation to provide the specific patient care that is required in intensive care units (ICU).  Nurses and other healthcare professionals are looking for effective and proactive management in intensive care units (ICUs) for impacted individuals.

Management of the COVID-19 ICUs

ICUs will face many challenges at the same time. The protection of healthcare workers (HCWs), the management of infections, and the adaptation of services to a pandemic situation that is fast changing are some of these. Maximizing containment to lessen community effect and buy time for preparations is the top objective when dealing with sporadic cases or clearly identifiable clusters in the community.

This is accomplished within healthcare facilities by quickly identifying and isolating any suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, as well as by enforcing stringent infection control protocols that reduce intra-hospital transmission and prevent the disruption of vital services.

Creating an isolation ICU

The establishment of an isolated ICU ward, geographically distinct from other clinical sections, allows for the concentration and segregation of equipment and personnel, resulting in more effective containment. Negative-pressure airborne infectious isolation rooms are ideal for isolation ICUs (AIIRs). AIIRs are maintained at negative pressure relative to their surroundings and are vented at a rate of at least 6-12 air changes per hour.

Entrances and screening areas

Most special care units, such as the ICU, have reduced the number of entrances and exits to guarantee that all visitors are screened for COVID-19 symptoms. Changes to the infrastructure include segregating entrances for healthcare workers and patients. All workers can enter through the same entrance and be subjected to active syndromic surveillance as a result. Leaving areas of the screening open to the elements. People should never be forced to congregate in close quarters while waiting to be screened.

Disinfection control measures

It is critical to put in place adequate measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the ICU. Disinfection involves both concurrent and terminal disinfection. Concurrent disinfection must be carried out quickly for the materials and surroundings affected by the excrement of the suspected and confirmed patients. Following the completion of one day's work in the ICU, or the patients' recovery or death in the isolation ward, final disinfection must be carried out with care. Key disinfection objects include patients' living goods such as clothes and quilts, medical supplies, rooms, and workstations.

New communication strategies

To overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 epidemic, ICU staff has had to adapt and establish new communication tactics. This has resulted in a paradigm change from the pre-pandemic communication systems. These tactics could be implemented in other intensive care units to improve patient families' access to information while also improving staff communication and teamwork.

Nurse managers around the world have not dealt with a perplexing issue like the COVID-19 pandemic. Such a disaster will have an impact on all nursing personnel now and in the future. They've never known such turmoil, hardship, and uncertainty. All nurse managers are attempting to handle the situation with as few losses as possible. There is a no better opportunity to emphasize nurse managers' critical role. Frontline nurse managers must guarantee that patients receive great nursing care while also serving as a liaison between them and top hospital administration.

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Photo Source: Intensive Care Unit

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