Need an expert? COVID-19: the role and challenges of nurses during the pandemic

Posted on Thursday, May 14, 2020

A nurse helping a senior

National Nursing Week

Members of the media may directly contact the following expert:

David Kenneth Wright (English only)
Associate Professor, School of Nursing, Faculty of Health Sciences

Professor Wright may address the following topics:

  • The implications of COVID-19 for palliative and end-of-life care nursing (e.g., restrictions on family visiting, increase in home deaths, nurses’ grief because they are unable to terminate long-standing relationships with dying patients).
  • Nurses’ ethical values challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During COVID-19, some nurses have felt compelled to limit their physical contact with persons receiving care to “essential” interventions. Making decisions about what qualifies as “essential” is not at all straightforward. There is a serious risk that in a contemporary health-care culture where biomedical values predominate, important nursing commitments — such as entering the room of a patient who appears to be in emotional distress, or administering symptom relief to someone who is in pain or short of breath — will be abandoned. This risk can be mitigated by insisting that attention to dignity is fundamental to ethical nursing care, even in a pandemic context.”


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