NMBI wishes to acknowledge the challenges that nurses and midwives are facing with the spread of COVID-19 in Ireland. Nurses and midwives have a vital role to play in treating patients and containing the virus, whilst also maintaining ongoing healthcare services.
In these circumstances, some healthcare services may be deferred or cancelled. Staff may be re-deployed to areas other than where they usually work in order to best meet patient care needs. This will require that everyone works together co-operatively in the best interests of patients. Nurses and midwives should be responsive to these requests for re-deployment whilst at the same time being mindful of their competence.
We understand that the issue of re-deployment or adjustments to the scope of practice may give rise to concerns. In this context, please refer to the Scope of Nursing and Midwifery Practice Framework document (NMBI 31 October 2015). This is an enabling document which should inform your decision-making, including in emergency situations. In the event of any concerns being raised about actions or decisions taken by a nurse or midwife we wish to reiterate that the scope of practice framework supports nurses and midwives taking appropriate actions provided the overall benefit to the patient is being served.
Everyone is encouraged to utilise information from reliable up-to-date sources and to be wary of information gleaned from sources that may not be reliable, e.g. social media. The HSE website has a specific section that provides detailed advice to healthcare professionals on a range of issues relating to COVID-19. This is updated as new information becomes available. Employers will also issue guidance directly to staff.
Nurses and Midwives have a responsibility to ensure that they take appropriate steps to protect their own health and that of the public and should follow the guidance provided by the National Public Health Emergency Team and the HSE.
Finally and importantly, we would like to acknowledge and also register our appreciation of your vital and valuable contribution to the provision of healthcare, as an individual and as an essential member of our national healthcare team.