Last week on the AdventHealth Morning Briefing, Linnette Johnson, senior vice president and a chief nursing officer at AdventHealth Central Florida Division, discussed how COVID-19 has changed the nursing profession.
“COVID-19 has upended health care in general, and nursing as well,” Johnson said. “It has impacted our people going into nursing school and students trying to get clinical learning and having to do virtual learning. We have brought nurses out of retirement to cover in areas that were short and be creative in the way we deliver care.”
COVID-19 has weighed heavily on the emotional concerns for frontline health care workers and nurses who must consider the fear of bringing the virus home to their families, said Johnson. Many nurses, she said, deal with social isolation among friends and neighbors who are fearful of getting too close during the pandemic.
“[COVID-19] is a lonely disease. It is lonely for the individual that has it and it is lonely for our nurses that actually give care on COVID-positive units,” Johnson said. “Our nurses have run in amongst the chaos and the disorder and have created harmony. They have been courageous and brave. It’s been heartwarming and heartbreaking, and they continue to fulfill that mission and get us through.”
Johnson thanked everyone on behalf of her nursing team for the positive outpouring of support they have received since the start of the pandemic. “It really makes a difference,” she said.
COVID-19 Vaccine Research
Thankfully there is hope through the vaccine research and clinical trials AdventHealth is doing that is putting Central Florida at the heart of advancement on this front.
This week, Dr. Steven R. Smith, AdventHealth’s chief scientific officer, offered insights into the COVID-19 clinical research trials and therapies underway in Central Florida.
“The only way we are going to get out of this pandemic is with a vaccine,” Smith said.
AdventHealth Research Institute is conducting hundreds of clinical trials and is also a testing site for the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson’s Phase 3 clinical research study, ENSEMBLE trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Janssen’s investigational COVID-19 vaccine candidate, JNJ-78436735, also known as Ad26.COV2.S.
“It revs up the immune system, but only for the coronavirus, so the body can attack it and gives us the ability to prevent the virus from planting the seed and growing in the body,” Smith said.
Smith said up to 60,000 people will take part in the ENSEMBLE trial and suggests results may be available during the first quarter of 2021.
“It will take several more months until we get enough preliminary data before we can say ‘does it work, is it safe,’” Smith said.
People interested in participating in the ENSEMBLE clinical trial may visit AdventHealthVaccineTrials.com or call 844-422-2282.
“We need to make sure the vaccines are safe… they are effective, and that they work for everyone,” Smith said.