Between 25-30 April 2020, three nurses working at Waitakere Hospital, New Zealand tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). In the week prior to testing positive, the nurses had been working on a ward caring for a group of elderly patients with COVID-19. The patients were from an aged residential care (ARC) facility in West Auckland.
- The nursing staff provided exemplary care to the six patients on the ward; they were compassionate, professional and worked to ensure the patients were provided with the best care possible.
- The decision to transfer the residents was made quickly on a Friday, and staff had a short time to plan and respond putting together a COVID-ready ward. The patients required full nursing care and deteriorated relatively quickly. Consequently, nurses needed to spend long periods of time at the patients’ bedsides.
- There was no way for nursing staff to communicate with staff outside the patients’ rooms which increased the frequency of donning and doffing PPE.
- Full PPE was available to staff at all times. However, there were problems with the usability of the PPE and changes in types of PPE provided, which was stressful for staff.