Healthcare workers are the frontline warriors during the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). While everyone talks about the crisis and challenges faced by nurses and physicians, we should not forget the sacrifices of pharmacists and CRNAs during this difficult time.
Pharmacists play an important role in providing healthcare services during the pandemic crisis. They are the most easily accessible healthcare providers and the first point of interaction of patients, lowering the burden of general physicians and nurses in hospitals. Pharmacists are vital in maintaining a controlled work environment, a provision of information and necessary medical supplies, as well as ensuring the regular medication and counselling of patients to avoid undue patient visits to healthcare facilities.
During this tough time, pharmacists face many difficulties in dealing with stock picking from the markets and shortage of medication. Since the lockdown situation made it more difficult for patients and the general public to visit the pharmacies and stores frequently due to fear of pandemic, pharmacists take on the effort to provide their medication, important guidelines, and information.
Pharmacies remain open throughout the pandemic to help minimize the exposure of the public and their staff to the threat of the virus, providing effective healthcare facilities in a safe way. Different pharmacies follow different procedures such as curbside pick-up, closing lobbies, drive through, and home deliveries. To cope with the stock picking and shortage of essential medications, pharmacists adopt the therapeutic interchange protocol to make sure the availability of necessary medication for their patients.
Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs), on the other hand, are essential in providing life-saving care to critically sick COVID-19 infected patients. CRNAs provide their specialized skills to severely infected COVID-19 patients such as airways management, patient assessment, providing ventilator support, and providing specialized care to patients with respiratory issues.
Specialized and trained in providing critical care, CRNAs are also stepping forward in the battle against the pandemic with their leadership in managing medical care for the critically sick patients. They are the ones who mainly manage the influx of patients in rural areas where there are a limited number of hospitals, putting their lives at high risk for disease exposure. They utilize their specialized expertise in managing patients in areas with limited resources such as incubation, ventilator management, critical care, hemodynamic management, and other emergency services.
The difficulties faced by pharmacists and CRNAs are never-ending. With the COVID-19 increasingly taking the lives of people across the world, all healthcare providers continue to put their lives at risk all while trying to get through this crisis. There should be enough resources and facilities provided to these frontline warriors to ensure their personal protection so they can continuously provide healthcare to the public in an effective way.