The Coronavirus, officially named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, has gripped the globe. As a nurse or travel nurse, we encourage you to stay updated on the latest news in order to protect yourself and provide quality care to your patients. Here’s the latest information on the pandemic, including how it’s spread, how to protect yourself, and other resources for nurses.
What is the Coronavirus and how is it different from other coronaviruses?
There are four types of coronaviruses which cause common colds in humans. This coronavirus, named COVID-19, is different because it originated in animals and evolved to infect humans. Because of this change in the virus, it is called novel coronavirus. The outbreak is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China, with links to a large seafood and live animal market. Other examples of a novel coronavirus is SARS-CoV (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus) and MERS-CoV (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus).
What are the symptoms of 2019 novel coronavirus?
- The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to other respiratory virus infections, like influenza. It includes fever, cough, and shortness of breath.
- Symptoms can range from mild to severe, even causing death.
- The CDC believes at this time that symptoms appear as few as 2 days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
Coronavirus in the United States
- Originating in China, it has officially been named a pandemic by the World Health Organization.
- Globally, there are 5.7 million confirmed cases as of May 29, 2020.
- In the United States, there are 1,719,827 total cases and 101,711 deaths as reported by the CDC.
- Major disruption has occurred due to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States.
- The COVID-19 outbreak was declared a national emergency by President Trump on March 13, 2020.
- Most states have closed schools, restaurants and bars for in-restaurant dining, and offices. Most major cities, and some states have instituted 'shelter in place' protocols for all residents to minimize the spread of the virus.
- Currently, the United States has more coronavirus cases than any other country, including Italy, Iran and China.
How have travel nurse jobs been affected by the spread of coronavirus?
As the United States learns how to manage the spread of coronavirus, travel nurse jobs are opening at an exponential rate across the country. Travel nurse's unique skill set to jump in quickly and learn on the fly are need now more than ever as we face a crisis that will define the decade.
Fastaff's dedication to our travel nurses on COVID-19 assignments
As the COVID-19 curve flattens and businesses re-open, we’re all wondering what our new normal will look like. Things are evolving, but Fastaff’s commitment to the health and safety of our travelers remains consistent.
If you have a COVID-19 exposure and become ill with the virus while on assignment, we’re here for you. Our team will walk you through all the resources available to you, including Telehealth physician support, Workers Compensation and even EAP benefits, as we know emotional support is just as important as medical.
Thank you for being a part of the Fastaff family. If you have additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our Clinical Service division at 1-800-736-8773. (Last updated 5/8/20)
If you are interested in joining Fastaff to serve COVID-19 patients across the country, please see our latest travel nurse job openings:
Nurse resources for coronavirus
As a nurse, you are heroically putting yourself at risk to serve others. We hope these below facts and tips provided by the CDC will assist you.
When is someone infectious?
The onset and duration of viral shedding and period of infectiousness is not yet known. Looking at similar viruses, like SARS-CoV-2 RNS, it may be detectable in the upper or lower respiratory tract for weeks after illness onset. Existing literature regarding SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses suggest the incubation period may range from 2-14 days.
Can people who recover from COVID-19 be infected again?
The immune response is currently not understood. Patients with MERS-CoV infection were unlikely to be re-infected, but it is not yet known if a similar immune response will exist with COVID-19.
How should healthcare personnel protect themselves when evaluating a patient who may have COVID-19?
Here is what the CDC recommends - Although the transmission dynamics have yet to be determined, a cautious approach to persons under investigation for the coronavirus is recommended. Healthcare professionals should use Standard Precautions, Contact Precautions, Airborne Precautions, and use eye protection when providing care for patients with confirmed COVID-19.
What are the PPE Recommendations?
We know that the current shortage of personal protective equipment (masks), needed for you to properly protect yourselves, while taking good care of your patients, is heavy on your minds. While we believe all hospitals are doing what they can to provide this to you, we also recognize the shortage is real. Many of you have already been asked to conserve, clean and reuse masks, and we’re sure many more will be asked to do the same.
Experts tell us that our efforts towards social distancing will flatten the curve, will slow spread of this virus and decrease the demands being put on our healthcare system. While we’re waiting for this to happen, and for manufacturers to send more products, we wanted to share some info you can use to help keep yourself safe.
- Recommended guiaence for extended use and limited reuse of N95 filtering facepiece respirators
- Strategies for optimizing the supply of facemasks
How should COVID-19 be treated?
There are currently no antiviral drugs licensed by the FDA to treat COVID-19. Clinical management for hospitalized patients with COVID-19 is focused on supportive care of complications, including advanced organ support for respiratory failure, septic shock, and multi-organ failure. It should also be noted that not all patients with COVID-19 will require medical supportive care.
Should travel nurses anticipate coronavirus screenings for new job placements?
Most likely, yes. If you are matched with a hospital that requires a coronavirus screening, your recruiter or our credentialing office will provide you an additional screening form. If you have additional questions, please contact your Fastaff recruiter.
Additional coronavirus resources for travel nurses:
- Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Situation Summary
- World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus disease advice for the public
- American Nurses Association Coronavirus Information
- CDC Nonpharmaceutical Interventions resources
- CDC Flowchart to Identify and Assess 2019 Novel Coronavirus
- CDC’s Interim Clinical Guidance for Management of Patients with Confirmed Corornavirus Disease 2019