The Nurses of Wisconsin, an organization of 19 Wisconsin nursing associations, has come together to issue a statement to the public on the importance of wearing masks, and Marian University shares the principled commitments and the grave concerns expressed by these courageous individuals.
As cases of coronavirus continue to rise across the state, the statement was prompted by Wisconsin’s hospitals reaching less than 10 percent of beds being available to provide care, and the supply of nurses dwindling due to them testing positive for COVID-19, or being in quarantine because of exposure to it.
“Through my continued practice, I see the toll that COVID-19 is taking on our nurses,” said Dr. Kim Udlis, Associate Dean and Chief Nurse Administrator for the Marian University Nursing Department. Dr Udlis, along with Marian University Assistant Professor of Nursing Melissa Zar, serves on the WNA COVID-19 Response Sub-Committee. “These stresses do trickle down to our nursing students, who see this during their clinical rotations yet still remain determined to become nurses. We have a responsibility and duty to care for our fellow nurses and healthcare workers and we support the Nurses of Wisconsin in their efforts. Wear a mask. For you. For us.”
As cited by the Center for Disease Control, asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic persons are estimated to account for more than 50% of transmissions. The study concluded that individual benefit increases with increased community mask use.
According to the WNA, evidence shows that wearing a mask protects the individual, it protects the community and it protects nurses, including the Marian University nursing students.
“Nurses are losing their resilience and their health and well-being is at risk,” said Gina Dennik-Champion, RN, and Executive Director of the Wisconsin Nurses Association, in a recent interview with Wisconsin’s Morning News.
The complete interview is available here.