SAN DIEGO — As COVID-19 continues to take its heaviest toll in the health-care industry, a San Diego nurse attorney, author, and veteran of the AIDS crisis is offering nurses a free video series to help them survive the new pandemic
Lorie Brown put together the video series to provide tips for nurses on the front line of the coronavirus fight. It features 18 experts who provide advice such as keeping up immunity, getting better sleep, practicing mindfulness and understanding nurses' rights.
"I wanted to bring them the best experts that I can," Brown said.
"Being a nurse myself, as well as an attorney, I know what it's like to deal with the stress of exposure to illness while still wanting to provide the best care possible to patients. I was a nurse at St. John's Hospital (in Santa Monica) at the height of the AIDS crisis. Multiply that times a thousand, and you can only begin to understand what nurses across the globe are going through right now. I wanted to do something to help nurses get through their day, armed with a new perspective, an enlightened opinion, or maybe just a fresh glimmer of hope before entering into the front lines of COVID healthcare once again."
Brown is the author of three books and is president-elect of the American Association of Nurse Attorneys. She founded empowerednurses.org in 2012 to help nurses protect their licenses while learning "to speak their mind, stand in their power and be a change agent to improve health care."
The video series is called "COVID-19 Video Survival Guide for Nurses and Healthcare Practitioners" and is available by going on the empowerednurses.org website or accessing the Empowered Nurses YouTube channel.
The speakers include Gabrielle Traub, a homeopathic nurse; Mady Stovall, an oncology nurse practitioner and moral injury specialist; and Dr. Alexander Stemer, an internal medicine and infectious disease specialist.
Other topics include yoga instruction, depression, meditation and legal advice.
Brown has worked for the state of Indiana in medical malpractice defense and for a private law firm. She started Brown Law Office, P.C. in 1999 as a legal consultant. She represented nurses and other health care providers before licensing boards.
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According to the CDC, coronavirus (COVID-19) is a family of viruses that is spreadable from person to person. Coronavirus is believed to have been first detected in a seafood market in Wuhan, China in December 2019. If someone is sick with coronavirus, the symptoms they may show include mild to severe respiratory illness, cough, and difficulty breathing.
Currently, there is no vaccine, however, the CDC suggests the following precautions, as with any other respiratory illness:
Know how it spreads
There is no vaccine
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to the virus
It is thought to spread mainly from person-person between people in close contact
And believed to be spread by respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes
Wash your hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds
If soap and water aren't available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Put distance between yourselves and others
Stay home when you are sick
Wear a facemask if you are sick
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
If you don't have tissue, cough or sneeze into the inside of your elbow
Immediately wash your hands after coughing and sneezing
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
You can find information on disinfecting and cleaning on the CDC's How to Protect Yourself page.
The California Department of Public Health has issued guidance on the use of cloth face coverings to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
The County of San Diego has made face coverings mandatory for those working with the public including grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, convenience stores, and similar businesses.
While officials say these face coverings are not a substitute for practices like social distancing and handwashing, there is evidence to suggest that the use of cloth face coverings by the public during a pandemic could help reduce disease transmission. Officials do not recommend the public use N-95 or surgical masks which are needed by health care workers and first responders.