Why You Should Pledge to #RaiseTheLine During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Published on Mar 24, 2020. Updated on Sep 15, 2020.
The world needs healthcare workers now more than ever. By 2030, we need to train 35 million health additional professionals to keep up with the demands of our rapidly-aging population. This need has been accelerated by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which threatens the lives of millions globally. The general strategy most countries are adopting to fight the coronavirus is to #FlattenTheCurve by practicing social distancing and reducing the number of cases healthcare systems have to deal with at any one time.
At Osmosis, we’re asking people to reach further and do their part to #RaiseTheLine by increasing the threshold of our healthcare system. Together, we can achieve this by training more health professionals and empowering existing healthcare workers to provide the best care possible in the safest possible environment. Our Chief Medical Officer, Rishi Desai, MD, MPH, was featured on a panel of health professionals in conversation with US Senator Bernie Sanders to discuss this very issue (skip to 1:12:52):
So, what can you do to help #RaiseTheLine? First, you can take Osmosis’s #RaiseTheLine Pledge (and earn yourself three weeks of Osmosis Prime, for free!)
(and earn 3 weeks of Osmosis Prime!)
Once you’ve signed the Pledge, check out the other ways you can help #RaiseTheLine below, whether you’re a healthcare worker, health professional student, and or just someone looking to help!
While healthcare systems and the general public are doing their part to help flatten the curve, there’s also a need to meet the surge in demand that will test our healthcare system in the coming weeks. This is “raising the line” of our healthcare capacity.
How can healthcare systems #RaiseTheLine?
When there’s a surge in demand for medical treatment, like during a pandemic, hospitals need to increase the number of available beds and staffing by:
Canceling elective procedures
Figuring out ways to offer patients online health education opportunities
Diagnose and treat patients outside the hospital with home care and telemedicine whenever possible
Discharging healthy patients as quickly as possible
In addition, within hospitals, every effort is made to keep patients with COVID-19 separate from patients who are hospitalized for other reasons in order to avoid intra-hospital spread. To keep clinicians safe, they should wear personal protective equipment like N95 masks. Because of panic-buying and hoarding, these masks are in short supply, so it’s incredibly important that they’re only being used by healthcare providers.
Many healthcare workers are currently being retrained to use equipment like ventilators that they wouldn’t normally use in their day-to-day clinical practice. To this end, Osmosis has launched a free, CME-accredited online course for health professionals:
Ultimately, the most important factor to avoid overwhelming the healthcare system is to keep the curve below the capacity threshold, ensuring the increased demand doesn’t exceed the available resources.
How can medicine & health students help to #RaiseTheLine?
This is a really tough time for medical students and students in the health professions, particularly if you were in the middle of shadowing or clerkships, as all of these events have been put on hold. We’ve put together a few tips on things you can do to help all of your classmates get through their education and into the workforce.
Continue studying in quarantine
Being in social isolation or quarantine doesn’t mean you need to stop studying. In fact, there’s never been a better time to hit the books. There are a plethora of online resources you can use to keep up the momentum and work towards your degree in the health professions. You’ll find that sticking to your normal study routine is an excellent way to pass the time and retain a degree of normalcy during these challenging times.
Support your faculty as they move classes online
Although classes are cancelled, many institutions are working to transition scheduled lectures into an online environment. For many instructors, this is an unprecedented and highly challenging situation. To help them adjust, consider reaching out to an instructor and asking how you can help, whether it’s suggesting online resources, working with them to update course slides, or assisting them with uploading documents and brainstorming ways to help keep your class engaged.
Reach out to your classmates (from a safe distance)
Remember, you and your classmates are in this together—even though you’re apart. Form a study group and work together via Zoom. Share online resources with each other. Use Workspaces on Osmosis. Check in to see how everyone’s dealing with the pandemic and confirm that you’re all okay.
What can we ALL do to #RaiseTheLine?
As the magnitude of COVID-19 rises, it’s clear that our best option is to flatten the curve and #RaiseTheLine. To help reduce the burden on healthcare systems, Osmosis created a free online course to educate the general public on COVID-19 best practices. This course also shows you how to manage less-severe cases of COVID-19 at home to reduce the risk of community transmission and save hospital beds for those who truly need them.
Here are five things you can do to help #RaiseTheLine, even if you’re not a medical professional!
Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!
Practice social distancing
Avoid the hospital unless it’s absolutely critical
Do not hoard N95 masks, hand sanitizer, and other medical supplies
Share reliable resources with your networks
Do not panic! We’re in this together!