The fast moving pace of COVID-19 science both from disease progression and treatments has been hard to keep up with. As nurses and midwives, we are well-positioned to advocate for science and safety. In this webinar, Dr Jessica Stokes-Parish (RN, PhD) and IPN Romy Blacklaw will present the safety processes, research, surveillance of adverse events (including data on safety so far) and difference between COVID-19 vaccines.
The “Vaccine Science in the Context of COVID-19” webinar was on Thursday 26 August.
Want to see more? If so, login to the ANMF continuing professional education portal 👉 catalogue.anmf.cliniciansmatrix.com 👈 by 10 September and search on the word “vaccine”. Despite missing the live event, you’ll still get a certificate in recognition of continuing profession education on completion (see example below).
What’s with the blog post?
I have three reasons for promoting the webinar.
I think the content of the webinar is worthwhile sharing. I really enjoyed learning about the COVID-19 vaccines in more depth than the info I had picked-up from work, online and in the mainstream media.
Free, quality and easily accessible CPD/CPE for nurses and midwives deserves a shout-out, right? 🙂
I reckon there’s a future for nurses delivering short, sharp and evidence-based information via video online. Not convinced? Have a look at the less-than-two-minute-long video clip above and see if you find it interesting/useful. I do.
Sincere thanks to the webinar presenters Jess Stokes-Parish and Romy Blacklaw, and the webinar host Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation, for permission to use the video excerpt above, and for providing engaging and interesting CPE.
This blog post aims to clarify how the clinicians on one Consultation Liaison (CL) Psychiatric Service communicate with general hospital inpatients who are being nursed in isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
There has been some confusion re nomenclature of how we provide mental health assessment/support to hospitalised people in isolation . Hopefully by describing the pros and cons of the methods we’ve tried to date we’ll clear-up any misunderstandings.
1. Videoconference Review ie: using an online videoconferencing platform that works on both the clinician’s computer and the patient’s own device
No risk of infection transmission
When it works there is reasonably good eye contact and exchange of facial expressions and other non-verbal communications, leading to opportunities for engagement/establishing rapport
Since mid-late 2020, nearly all clinicians and many (most?) consumers are familiar with videoconferencing
In my clinical practice videoconferencing for these reviews has been mostly unsuccessful. Cross-platform incompatibility and limitations to what the devices/bandwidth that hospital inpatients in isolation have access to have been problematic.
At our end, clinical workplaces do not provide access to the same platforms our patients typically use (eg: FaceTime, Video Chat on Facebook or WhatsApp).
The technology was getting in the way of the therapeutic relationship, not enhancing it.
For these reasons, we pretty-much gave up on trying to videoconference hospital inpatients in isolation back in April/May 2020.
2. In-Room Review ie: in full PPE – face mask, goggles/face shield, gown and gloves
Physical proximity is standard practice: Clinical staff and the people we care for are familiar with this
Reasonably good eye contact and partial exchange of non-verbal communication, leading to opportunities for engagement/establishing rapport
PPE obscures facial expressions, thereby inhibiting rapport/assessment
An extra clinician(s) using PPE resources
With no disrespect to my CLPS clinical colleagues, we’re generally not as well-drilled with donning and doffing as the specialist nursing and medical teams, creating potential risk of infection transmission
3. Face-To-Face Review ie: through the window/glass door panel, using phones for easy/clear auditory communication
Good eye contact and exchange of facial expressions and other non-verbal communication, leading to opportunities for engagement/establishing rapport
No risk of infection transmission
Low-tech, easy to organise
Well received by nearly every hospitalised person in isolation that my team has seen from March 2020 to August 2021
Reminds me of prison-visit scenes in American movies
4. Phone Review ie: speak to the person on their personal mobile or bedside phone, no visual contact
No risk of infection transmission
Low-tech, easy to organise
It’s the go-to method of communication for community mental health intake clinicians/services (ie: thought to be a good-enough tool for most triage and sub-acute presentations; may be familiar to the clinician or consumer)
Some people find emotional expression easier without the intimacy/intrusion of eye contact
Assessment and rapport may be limited
Not thought to be adequate for acute or high-risk presentations
And The Winner Is…
Number 3: Face-To-Face Reviews, ie: where the clinician and person in isolation chat through the window/glass door panel, using phones for easy/clear auditory communication.
It’s cheap, easy and effective. We use it nearly every time when there’s someone in a negative-pressure/isolation room. We’ve saved dozens, maybe hundreds, sets of PPE, and we’ve reduced the likelihood of becoming potential super-spreaders.
Why Does It Matter?
Like just-about every other specialist mental health nurse on the planet, my clinical practice is influenced by Hildegard Peplau. Back in the 1950s dear old Aunty Hildegard had the audacity to tell nurses that, done right, the nurse-patient relationship = therapy [source]. About 60 years later neuroscience caught up with nursing theory and showed us that Peplau was right: strong relationships and strong attachments help brains heal by building new neural pathways [source].
A specialist mental health nurse is, amongst other things, a psychotherapist and a relationship focussed therapist [source]. A face-to-face review, even if has to be through glass, helps establish rapport and build a therapeutic relationship.
Back in March 2020 John Forster, a CL Nurse in Melbourne, accidentally coined the portmanteau “CLovid” by combining “CL” and “covid” as a typo.
That’s why I’m calling this blog post “CLovid Communication”.
Please forgive people like me who take delight in silly things like an accidental neologism. There’s been a fair bit of CLovid in the last eighteen months, and there’s more to come. Staying vigilant to the small joys and moments of lightheartedness is a survival skill.
Thanks also to Jelena Botha, CL CNC (who arrived on my team just in time for the global pandemic 😳), for allowing me to use her PPE pic.
Cozolino, L. (2006/2014) The Neuroscience of Human Relationships: Attachment and the Developing Social Brain. New York, W. W. Norton & Company. [Google Books]
Hurley, J. and Lakeman, R. (2021), Making the case for clinical mental health nurses to break their silence on the healing they create: A critical discussion. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 30(2): 574-582.https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12836
Peplau, H. (1952/1991) Interpersonal relations in nursing. New York: Putnam. [Google Books]
Santangelo, P., Procter, N. and Fassett, D. (2018), Seeking and defining the ‘special’ in specialist mental health nursing: A theoretical construct. International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 27(1): 267-275.https://doi.org/10.1111/inm.12317
What have I missed from this description of CLovid communication? Please add your on-the-job experiences and lessons in the comments section below.
2020 was ‘Year of the Nurse’, but it wasn’t until 2021 – when we had access to COVID-19 vaccinations – that we celebrated.
If you had told me in March 2020 that I would be vaccinated against COVID-19 before the end of March 2021, I would have told you you were crazy. And yet, here we are. I had my second injection this morning. Yay!
Science and Scientists who, in less than a year, have developed eleven vaccines. Not all of them have completed clinical trial or the WHO approval process yet (more info here), but still… Amazing.
Australia’s federal government for shutting the borders on 20 March 2020, and securing the purchase and manufacture of safe, effective, free COVID-19 vaccinations.
Queensland’s state government for being humble, smart and brave enough to seek and follow the health advice. As I’ve blogged previously (here, here and here). those of us living and working in the health sector in Queensland have a lot to be grateful for. Queensland has a lower incidence of COVID-19 than any other state or territory (source), and despite having a larger population than New Zealand has had fewer COVID19 cases and deaths (source and source). This all holds true today (30 March 2021) despite a current Brisbane lockdown and state-wide mandate to wear masks indoors because of recent community transmission.
My employer for including my small but dynamic team in the 1A rollout. My clinical role takes me to pretty-much every ward in the hospital, so I’ve be carrying the anxiety of being a potential super-spreader for the 12 months. A weight has been lifted. Thank you @CairnsHHS.
Finally, thanks to Frankie and Laura for giving both of my injections so painlessly and professionally. Thanks for the lollypops too :-).
I am very, very grateful to be be amongst the thousands of Australian nurses having a vaccination celebration.
Wait. There’s More.
Check-out more stories about Australian Nurses also having a vaccination celebration via this online curation: wakelet.com/@metaRN (recommended – it’s uplifting to scroll through all the news stories featuring heaps of nurses getting and giving COVID-19 jabs).
Thanks for visiting. As always, your feedback is welcome via the comments section below.