Healthcare workers are doing much more than lending a hand in the face of the current COVID-19 pandemic. While they are working to provide care for patients that come through their doors, they have the challenge of not only protecting themselves from the coronavirus but also protecting other patients in the process. They play a crucial role on the frontlines and are there to help you during these difficult times, whether you need medical questions answered or testing done. They can provide help with the coronavirus in a number of ways.
CDC Guidelines for Healthcare Professionals
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established certain considerations and recommendations for healthcare professionals based on what is known about the current COVID-19. Recommendations are made for viral and antibody testing, for testing individuals exhibiting signs and symptoms associated with COVID-19, for testing asymptomatic individuals with known or suspected exposure to SARS-CoV-2, and to determine the resolution of infection with SARS-CoV-2. The CDC recommends viral tests involving a sample from the respiratory system to check for and identify the presence of the virus – SARS-CoV-2 – that causes COVID-19. The antibody testing is not recommended as the sole basis for diagnosing COVID-19 but can be used in cases where a person may have post-infectious syndrome as a result of SARS-CoV-2 infection. Anyone who has close contact with an infected person. Healthcare providers can help you with testing for the coronavirus if you suspect that you may be infected or exposed to the virus. For a more detailed look at CDC guidelines for testing, click here.
Healthcare Provider Action Plan
The action plan from local healthcare providers can help mitigate harmful outcomes. Preparedness and responsiveness are crucial in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring that non-COVID patients also receive the care that they need. Healthcare providers need to have strategies in place that can help to mitigate the wider negative health effects that COVID-19 can have on vulnerable populations, such as the elderly, patients with chronic medical conditions, people with disabilities, the homeless, and low-income people. Action must be taken to minimize health inequalities that COVID-19 may exacerbate, and support be provided for these vulnerable groups. Access and social support can prove vital during this pandemic and healthcare providers can play a supportive role.
COVID-19 is slowly receding across the U.S, but more needs to be done to help to control the infection. Social distancing, proper hygiene practices, closures, and stay-at-home orders are some of the primary measures that have been implemented to halt the spread of COVID-19. What more can be done? With no vaccine yet in sight for prevention, the challenge to contain COVID-19 still remains. Effective contract tracing could help prevent further spread but a strategic plan needs to be in place.
Healthcare professionals have a key role to play in helping to mitigate the harmful effects of COVID-19. Providing testing for the infection is crucial, but so is minimizing health inequalities. No one should be left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether they are COVID patients or non-COVID patients.