Giving Compass' Take:

• Cynda Rushton speaks with Futurity about the critical, unprecedented decisions and challenges bombarding nurses on the front lines of COVID-19.

• What sort of impact do these situations have on nurses' mental and physical well-being? How can you support front-line workers, both tangibly and intangibly?

• Learn more about where and how you can direct your funding towards the coronavirus pandemic.

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases accelerates, nurses on the front lines of the health care response find themselves making high-stakes decisions for patients and their own personal lives.

“We are in uncharted territory in response to the magnitude of the pandemic,” says Cynda Rushton, a professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Berman Institute of Bioethics. “It’s a time of great stress and uncertainty, and nurses are rising to the challenge.”

Two weeks ago, Rushton—author and editor of Moral Resilience: Transforming Moral Suffering in Healthcare (Oxford University Press, 2018)—helped create the Frontline Nurses Wikiwisdom Forum, a virtual safe space where nurses can share their challenges and experiences during COVID-19.

“We know that nurses are the backbone of American health care, and often its heart and soul,” the site says. “The COVID-19 pandemic is testing all of us, but nurses are on the front lines. This space will be available 24/7 until America exits this crisis. Join us. Share your knowledge, experience, and challenges about working on the front lines of a pandemic. We know you are overworked, understaffed, possibly heartbroken and anxious, but always courageous. Feeling part of a community, even a virtual one, can help.”

Here, Rushton talks about the conditions and decisions nurses encounter daily while they wrestle with the massive health care challenges posed by COVID-19:

Nurses’ roles are now more important than ever. Nurses are often the last thread of compassion for patients. They’re the ones doing the screenings, taking care of the critically ill, implementing triage protocols, communicating to families, and attending to the dying.

Read the full conversation about nurses on the front lines with Cynda Rushton at Futurity.