Who can we turn to during this time of uncertainty? A raging pandemic threatens our health while hospitals in our community are nearing capacity. If there ever was a time to turn to the most honest, trusted and ethical profession for guidance, it is now.
This noble profession is that of the Registered Nurse. For eighteen years in a row, the American public in Gallup’s annual “Most Honest and Ethical Professions Poll” has rated nursing at the No. 1 spot. According to the most recent poll, 85% of participants rated nurses’ honesty and ethical standards as “very high” or “high.”
What are these trusted nurses telling us during this critical time? When nurses tell us they are short staffed and don’t have enough personal protective equipment, believe them. When nurses describe how they are exhausted and nearing burnout, support them. When nurses plead with the community to practice social distancing, wear a mask, and encourage frequent hand-washing, trust them. On the front lines in this battle against COVID-19, they have witnessed firsthand how a mask is much less restrictive than a body bag.
When nurses sound the alarm, we would be wise to listen.