A Nurse’s Guide to Talking With Loved Ones About COVID-19

Unfortunately, many individuals aren’t taking the COVID-19 pandemic as seriously as they should, especially if they’re not seeing the direct effects of the problem in their own lives. And while you as a nurse may not be able to change the mind of the public at large, you can have an impact on your own loved ones.

Are your loved ones not convinced that this is all as dire as it really is? Here are a few tips to start the conversation and get across how important it is to take this seriously.

Use Your Firsthand Knowledge

Sometimes, loved ones aren’t swayed by what they may perceive as biased or sensationalized news coverage of the pandemic. So if your loved one doesn’t respond to news sources outlining statistics or stories on the problem, take a different approach — tell them about your own experience as a nurse and how your firsthand knowledge gives you a unique insight into the situation. Even if you’re not caring for COVID-19 patients yourself, you’re well aware of how easily viruses and other infectious agents can spread. Use the authority given to you by your profession (and your nursing degree!) to tell your loved ones how serious this really is.

Explain That Carriers Can Be Asymptomatic

It seems that many individuals think “I’m not sick, so I can’t spread anything to other people.” Whether it’s thanks to poor communication on the part of government agencies, conflicting news coverage, plain old cognitive dissonance, or something else entirely, many people don’t seem to understand that the COVID-19 virus can be carried by a person who isn’t showing any symptoms. So, this is a problem for two reasons: your loved one can be around people who are seemingly perfectly healthy but still catch the virus or your loved one themselves could be carrying the disease and spread it to others. Make sure that your family members or loved ones understand this completely.

Show Them How Easy It Is to Take Precautions

Last but not least, show your loved ones how easy it is to take basic precautions against the spread of the virus. Demonstrate how to wash hands thoroughly for a full 20 to 30 seconds, and how to put on and take off gloves in order to stay safe when venturing out is necessary. Often, seeing these basic steps in action can make a big impact on those who need to take health risks more seriously.



Communicate When It Counts

Don’t be afraid to talk to your loved ones about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic. You’re a nurse — if anyone should be listened to right now, it’s you.

Visit the BOS Medical blog for more insights into making an impact as a nursing professional.

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