Asmaa Mazyoud Al-Shehhi Emirati nurse
Emirati nurse Asmaa Mazyoud Al-Shehhi Image Credit: Twitter

Dubai: “Do not make our mission difficult …”

This was the overriding message shared by nurses working on the frontlines to everyone in the UAE.

Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP) took to social media yesterday, asking nurses in the UAE to speak about what people should be aware of during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

The post, which was uploaded on the Ministry’s official Instagram account @MOHAPUAE, read: “Today, we would like to hear from nurses about their experiences during the coronavirus outbreak. Participate in raising the awareness in the UAE.”

nurses speak out
The Instagram post by MOHAP Image Credit: Screenshot/Gulf News

Hundreds of nurses wrote in, sharing basic tips and best practices that people should follow and even sharing heartfelt messages of pride at being able to serve people at this time of crisis.

Their experiences also provided insights into how to stay safe.

Instagram user @ms.zk, who identified herself as a ‘proud nurse’ and ‘frontline worker’ wrote: “From my experience with COVID-19 patients, a single infected person can be a threat to the whole family and friends’ circle. So, be responsible, especially for those whose immunity is low. Keep a safe distance and wear a protective mask, for yourself and others.”

Daily battle

Another Instagram user, @blesschats, spoke about a nurse’s everyday struggles that go unnoticed: “Help nurses who are at people’s bedside to protect their lives, so that we can protect your lives and the life of someone you love ….”

Ruqayaalshehhi, a registered nurse in the UAE, wrote: “The efforts nurses are currently putting in are mighty – working for 24 hours, working on holidays, working on Eid; far from their families and children, for the sake of those who are sick. May God help us and reward us.”

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Everyone is responsible

M. AlShehhi, who described herself as a medical staff nurse, wrote: “Adherence to precautionary and preventive measures is everyone's responsibility. Let everyone have a sense of awareness and an understanding of the seriousness of the situation. How many people have underestimated their health and the health of others. Their attitude was ‘This is normal, I am just visiting someone’s home ...’ only to regret later, when that regret is of no use.”

@Farahnhaidar, whose profile described her as a head nurse at a UAE hospital, wrote: “Emirati society has demonstrated its ability to adapt and adhere in a very civilised way, but the most striking thing for medical personnel is a misunderstanding of some people's use of gloves. They should change gloves when they get dirty and not wear them for long hours. If you do not know when you should be changing your gloves, it is better to not wear them and wash your hands and sanitise them when necessary – which is after touching unclean surfaces, before eating or touching your face,”

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Nursing staff working in the Covid-19 isolation ward at Al Zahra hospital in Sharjah. Photo : Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

An unpredictable foe

Instagram user @dreamcatcher_rn wrote: “Based on my experience as a nurse assigned at a COVID-19 screening facility, this virus is unpredictable. Some people came in who were doing very well and were showing no signs of illness, but they were carriers. Some came in very sick but turned out to test negative for the virus. … The best thing for us to do to support our nation, which is battling this pandemic, is to … stay safe.”

Step up

Another nurse shared this piece of advice: “One fact is observed … people in contact with the sick person, who do not follow the social distancing protocols and do not wash their hands frequently, end up infecting the largest number of family members. As for people who follow instructions and wash their hands frequently, the infection is usually for one or two members of the family, only - wife, husband, and children. It's simple - remember to wash your hands frequently, especially before touching your face and practice social spacing while you are outside the house and be happy.”

Another nurse, @Dedeayman, reiterated the message: “The people are the first line of protection and social safety, by committing to preventive instructions for diseases, and we are the first line of defence for your protection. Do not make our mission difficult and abide by the instructions to protect yourself and us.”