ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (FOX) – New Mexico is a nurse practitioner primary care state and nurse practitioners are putting their own health at risk every day since the COVID-19 outbreak started. Crystal Gutierrez sat down with the executive director of the New Mexico Nurse Practitioner Council, Rachel Bevan to discuss what challenges nurse practitioners have faced during this time and how you can help.
Rachel explains that nurses and nurse practitioners are preparing for the influx of patients due to the COVID-19 outbreak and are having to deal with stressors that they didn’t anticipate. One of those issues is the shortage of personal protective equipment.
Rachel also points out that specifically in New Mexico, nurses are one of the oldest workforce populations which is also the most vulnerable population to the virus.
“So it is New Mexico’s duty to make sure they have the protective equipment so that we can care for the public,” said Rachel. “What will happen if our healthcare providers get sick? Who will take care of us?”
Due to the PPE shortage, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has requested additional supplies from the president and Rachel says that the state is currently awaiting that shipment of supplies.
While hospitals, nurses, and nurse practitioners say that they believe they are ready to care for the additional virus cases, it is critical to still practice social distancing and to stay home unless absolutely necessary.
“I’ve heard from smaller communities that there’s still gatherings in parking lots, there’s gatherings at other places and especially in these small communities we’ve got to make sure that we practice that social distancing so that in return you can help that healthcare provider,” said Rachel.
Rachel also cautions the public to be wary of information on social media during this time. She encourages everyone to verify all information regarding COVID-19 to be checked through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Additionally, hospitals are in critical need of blood donations. You can schedule an appointment to donate blood online.