On Wednesday, the American Academy of Nursing’s (Academy’s) Chief Executive Officer Suzanne Miyamoto, PhD, RN, FAAN attended a meeting at the White House with President Trump, Vice President Pence, members of the Coronavirus Task Force and leadership from national nursing organizations to discuss pressing issues related to the pandemic’s deepening impact on the public’s health and the nursing profession’s ability to provide care.
The Academy represents over 2,800 Fellows who are the foremost experts in their field. In consulting our experts, Dr. Miyamoto emphasized the importance of protecting the most vulnerable populations, supporting nurses on the frontlines, and increasing access, scale, speed, and accuracy of testing.
In order to slow further spread of the virus, it is necessary to reinforce social distancing and alleviate stressors to the nation’s health professionals and systems. “It is imperative that as a nation we come together collectively to flatten the curve by aggressively practicing and promoting social distancing. We have to help the public understand that they cannot take this lightly. Clear, consistent, and fact-based communication about this grave situation is vital,” said Dr. Miyamoto. The Academy highlighted the importance of active monitoring and testing to prevent the spread of the virus in densely populated living environments such as Veteran group homes, long-term care facilities, rehabilitation centers, homeless shelters, and other settings where social distancing is difficult.
The Academy drew attention to the high emotional and financial burdens that are being placed on the healthcare workforce. Nurses on the frontline have children and aging parents to care for too and need support at the local, state, and federal levels in order to remain in the care setting. “It is imperative we recognize that nurses are our most valuable resource in fighting this pandemic,” said Academy President Eileen Sullivan-Marx, PhD, RN, FAAN. “They are tasked with making real-time, difficult decisions on the ground in rapidly evolving, uncertain circumstances so full-scale support of our nurses is essential.”
Nurses play a vital role in educating patients and the public, dispelling rumors and misconceptions, and providing valuable, trusted resources. The work of our nation’s health care professionals, as well as each individual who is taking appropriate steps to further prevent the spread of coronavirus, are helping to save lives.
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