Lessons from COVID

Alison Kitson, Getty Huisman-de Waal, Asa Muntlin

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorial

9 Citations (Scopus)


It is with great humility and overwhelming respect for our frontline nursing colleagues around the world that we share this reflection on what we have learned about the importance of delivering fundamental nursing care in a time of COVID. We are writing and reflecting from privileged positions: AK is living in Australia, which so far has not endured the operational challenges of dealing with ongoing volumes of very sick patients with COVID; AM and GH in Sweden and the Netherlands, respectively, have come face-to-face with the frontline challenges working in emergency departments (EDs) and COVID wards. But they also can retreat to less confronting and dangerous work roles in their research and academic positions just as AK can. We are all signatories to the Aalborg Statement (Kitson et al. 2019), which literally 3 months before COVID took hold of the world was encouraging health systems to revalue and rethink the importance of fundamental care to people's well-being and health. As COVID unfolded, we were reminded of the importance of handwashing and social distancing as premier infection control measures; we were less confident about the efficacy of face masks; but as time went on, we all began to acknowledge that where medications and vaccines failed, it was left to armies of nurses at the frontline to keep patients alive by diligently, painstakingly and courageously tending to patients’ fundamental care needs such as breathing, turning, personal hygiene, eating and drinking and stopping deconditioning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e7-e9
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Advanced Nursing
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Editorial
  • COVID-19
  • emergency departments
  • COVID wards
  • handwashing
  • social distancing
  • face masks
  • efficacy of face masks


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