Lessons on COVID-19 from Home and Community: Perspectives of Nursing Leaders at All Levels
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The initial focus of the COVID-19 pandemic was on the surge capacity of hospitals. Moving forward, however, the attention needs to shift toward keeping people healthy at home. In this paper, we discuss critical insights from the home and community care sector, which shed light on pre-pandemic fault lines that have widened. The paper, however, takes a positive look at how a better future can be built, particularly for those most vulnerable in society. We offer three key insights and analyses as well as examples of how one national homecare organization in Canada, SE Health, is facing the pandemic. We discuss the following key insights: (1) pre-pandemic systemic biases and barriers were exasperated during the pandemic, which impacted the most vulnerable; (2) nurse leaders were faced with unprecedented fear and anxiety from both patients and their staff colleagues; and (3) the pandemic provided an opportunity for significant learning, innovation and capacity development. The pandemic is far from over - we are in a marathon, not a sprint. The paper concludes with how nurse leaders can lead the way in navigating through the pandemic and build a better "new normal."
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