Nursing home staff face PPE shortages 

Nurses in medical homes struggle for PPE's
Photo credit: Andrea Piacquadio (Pexels)

The dire situation in hospitals and the impending shortage of protective equipment is in the news a lot during this corona crisis. But nursing homes are also struggling with similar problems. Not much emphasis is being given to that. 

The coronavirus has been diagnosed in 40% of nursing homes nationwide. However, the staff in these nursing homes are less well protected than hospitals workers. The branch organisation, ActiZ, sounded the alarm about this on Thursday.

De Wever in Tilburg is one such care institution. There, they keep experimenting with whatever equipment is available to them. This institution’s also been severely affected by the coronavirus. Twelve of the 15 De Wever nursing homes are dealing with infected patients.

‘Causing a lot of grief’

According to a nurse, Susanne van Kempen, this requires a lot from the staff.  “The virus causes a lot of grief. The fact that residents can’t see their family members now hurts you so much.” The nursing homes in Tilburg currently have sufficient protective equipment. However, delivery is slow.

“We’re excited when we have enough,” says Chantal Beks. She is the director at De Wever. “So far, this has been the case. But I believe the circumstances must be optimal if your employees work in risky conditions. We can’t afford to let people work without proper protection.”

Don’t stare blindly

Beks, therefore, stresses that attention shouldn’t only be paid to the situation in the hospitals. “I think that attention should be proportional. The government must ensure we have sufficient protective materials, so we don’t have to let our people work in unnecessarily risky situations”.

Another problem is that, because of the coronavirus pandemic, gloves and face masks are being used all over the world on a massive scale. But the situation continues to be grim. Prime Minister Mark Rutte emphasised on Thursday that he’s doing everything he can to ensure these materials get to the Netherlands as soon as possible.

“There’s a shortage of this stuff. That’s the big problem,” Rutte explained. “The whole world is hunting for it. I’m talking to everyone I can think of, internationally, this week to get things done.”


Translation: Chaitali Sengupta, who gives Inburgering classes. Click here for more info.

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