Pandemics bring a significant crisis for the health care system and battle can only be swiftly won, if the army of health care workers is well prepared and efficiently utilized. Nurses are the major health care human resources, who play a key role in the management of COVID-19 as there are no definitive treatment and recovery largely depend on efficacious care. Therefore, it is essential to plan and utilize nursing manpower efficiently during the pandemics like COVID-19. There is a paucity of literature regarding the efficient utilization of nursing manpower during the COVID-19 pandemic, because of its novice phenomenon. Therefore, the authors made a sincere attempt to present a comprehensive commentary on strategies for efficient utilization of nursing manpower for safety and quality of care. Key components of efficient utilization are the creation of three-tier pool of nurses, using minimalist approach in staffing rosters, relaxing nurse staffing norms to minimal, flexible shifts, three-layer relieving rosters for sufficient time for quarantine, adequate safety through the provision of high-quality personal protective equipment (PPE), training on infection prevention and control, environmental engineering for safety enhancement, hospital-based quarantine facility, avoidance of discrimination, motivation, and counseling for the nurses.
Last JM. A dictionary of epidemiology. 4th ed., New York: Oxford University Press; 2001.
Available from https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.
WHO. Checklist for influenza epidemic preparedness. WHO/CDS/CSR/GIP/2005.4. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2005.
Wang H, Feng J, Shao L, Wei J, Wang X, Xu X, et al. Contingency management strategies of the nursing department in centralized rescue of patients with coronavirus disease 2019. Int J Nurs Sci 2020;7(2):139–142. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnss.2020.04.001.
Lee CC, Thampi S, Lewin B, Lim TJ, Rippin B, Wong WH, et al. Battling COVID-19: critical care and peri-operative healthcare resource management strategies in a tertiary academic medical centre in Singapore. Anaesthesia 2020;75(7):861–871. DOI: 10.1111/anae.15074.
Huang L, Lin G, Tang L, Yu L, Zhou Z. Special attention to nurses’ protection during the COVID-19 epidemic. Crit Care 2020;24(1):120. DOI: 10.1186/s13054-020-2841-7.
Dutta A. Coronavirus: Nurses ask for rotation of duty after 14-day shift in Covid wards. Hindustan Times [Internet]. 2020 Apr 12 [cited 2020 Apr 25]. Available from: https://www.hindustantimes.com/delhi-news/nurses-ask-for-rotation-of-duty-after-14-day-shift-in-covid-wards/story-8NWsAOnigNelmVRvimhyKJ.html.
Selvakumar K, Gopi V, SMH FS, Chindhiha S, Divya S. Hospital preparedness for emergency in India (hope-I) to combat COVID-19 outbreaks. Stud Indian Place Names 2020;40(70):4226–4236.
World Health Organization [Internet]. Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak: rights, roles and responsibilities for the health workers, including key considerations for occupational safety and health: Interim guidance. 2020 March 19 [cited 2020 April 3]. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/331510. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO
Xu C, Jin J, Song J, Yang Y, Yao M, Zhang Y, et al. Application of refined management in the prevention and control of coronavirus disease 2019 epidemic in non-isolated areas of a general hospital. Inter J Nurs Sci 2020;7(2):143–147. DOI: 10.1016/j.ijnss.2020.04.003.
Greenberg N, Docherty M, Gnanapragasam S, Wessely S. Managing mental health challenges faced by healthcare workers during COVID-19 pandemic. BMJ 2020;368:m1211. DOI: 10.1136/bmj.m1211.
Chen Q, Liang M, Li Y, Guo J, Fei D, Wang L, et al. Mental health care for medical staff in China during the COVID-19 outbreak. The lancet. Psychiatry 2020;7(4):e15–e16. DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30078-X.
Torda A. Ethical issues in pandemic planning. Med J Australia 2006;185(S10):S73–S76. DOI: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2006.tb00713.x.
Chetterje P. Gaps in India's preparedness for COVID-19 control. Lancet Infect Dis 2020;20(5):544. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(20)30300-5.