Muscat: The Ministry of Health is playing a vital role in tackling the COVID-19 and working as one team in the developments made by the Sultanate over the past five decades.
Like the other health professions, the nursing group is an integral part of the health system, which represents more than 65% of the health groups and has a significant role in enhancing the quality of the health services at the primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
At the central level, Dr Jamal Al Khadouri, Director General of Nursing Affairs in the Ministry of Health (MOH) pointed out that the Directorate General of Nursing Affairs (DGNA) is developing policies and procedures of nursing practising for the specialized medical care and the primary healthcare in coordination with the concerned authorities in the Ministry, Governorates and health institutions.
As the DGNA observes the routine work in all health institutions, it also monitors the implementation of the strategic plans that have been developed to manage the crises, along with the emergency plans in these health institutions to tackle this pandemic.
Al Khadouri added that the DGNA has expedited the recruitment of 148 Omani nurses who graduated from the private educational institutions on 23/03/2020, noting that their commencement of work was planned on 01/07/2020.
In addition, a backup plan has developed by the Directorate General of Nursing Affairs to support the health institutions by providing more than 450 nurses at three levels; candidates group from the health institutions, nursing group of the school health and fourth-year nursing students from the MOH nursing colleges, as well as the volunteers from the nursing, retired categories.
The Director-General of Nursing Affairs highlighted the significant role of the Department of School & University Health before suspending study, which came in the form of preparing educational and guidance leaflets and signs approved by the Ministry of Health and disseminates them to all school health nurses at all government and private schools across the Sultanate.
In addition, preparing an algorithm approved by the Ministry designated for the schools to familiarize with the mechanisms of dealing with persons who have symptoms or suspected with having an infection, reporting any suspected case or any other case contact with an infected person according to the therapeutic and preventive protocols for the safety of all.
Following the national and international recommendations of the World Health Organization on raising public awareness and health education to tackle, containing and curb COVID-19, awareness and educational workshops and lectures have been conducted for the nurses in the school health, government and private authorities affiliated to the Ministry of Education and other concerned authorities and universities.
Furthermore, a team from all Departments of primary healthcare has visited the schools, universities and primary healthcare in all the governorates to increase awareness and ensure the commitment of all by taking the precautionary measures to combat this disease.
Al-Khadouri pointed out that the nursing leaders are constantly following-up the readiness of health institutions in tackling this pandemic, meeting their needs of human resources and medical supplies. All nursing departments in coordination with the infection control departments have developed an emergency plan, quarantine and isolation places. The nursing professionals are intensity involved in the operations management centres across the Sultanate.
In addition, the nursing staff has been trained on dealing the infected or suspended persons and the proper way of using the infection control tools and devices. The nursing staff is responsible for equipping the departments with all necessities of health equipment and medical staff to receive the suspected or confirmed cases with COVID-19. As well as allocating particular entrances to receive the cases in order to be isolated from the other patients.
Al-Khadouri stressed that the nursing staff not only providing health care but also providing psychological support for the patients, particularly the elder to protect them from mental illness such as anxiety and depression.