While all healthcare personnel know the importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE,) with COVID-19 still being a major public health hazard, it’s important now more than ever to make sure ALL proper safety measures are in place for personal protection and for the protection of others. PPE reduces the risk of major contaminants being transmitted to caregivers, their families, other patients, and their coworkers.
Right now, we are urging our healthcare workers to be vigilant and take extra safety precautions to protect themselves from transmitting the Coronavirus. These precautions include:
Getting a qualitative “fit test” to make sure your N95 mask is properly sealed to protect yourself from fine aerosols containing virus particles. A qualitative fit test is to be administered by a competent person as described by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), and usually comprises of utilizing a sweet or bitter aerosol test agent to test for any leakage in the seal of the mask. The test is a pass/fail and is subjective to the mask wearer's ability to detect the presence of the test agent while wearing a respirator mask. A fit test should be administered when utilizing a new model of a mask, and should additionally be administered if the wearer experiences anything that could potentially change the initial fit test. After an initial qualitative fit test, N95 mask wearers must perform daily “fit checks” every time a respirator mask is put on. The HSE has released a video on how to perform daily fit checks, which you can watch here: https://youtu.be/iVVlTBcN5eA
Staying hydrated throughout your shift. This includes drinking water, as well as properly hydrating your skin for healthy skincare. Moisturizers should be applied at least thirty minutes prior to a shift.
Practicing hand hygiene before putting on and after properly removing PPE, and extending washing up the forearms.
Properly disposing of single-use PPE.
Ensuring that any face shields or protective eyewear do not interfere with wearing a respirator.
Taking extra precautions with hygiene, respirator masks, gowns, and gloves can all help prevent the spread of COVID-19 while simultaneously protecting patients and caregivers from transmission and infection. Kindcare thanks and honors all nurses and aides who are working the front lines in healthcare settings. We want not just our own employees, but all medical professionals working right now to remain as safe and protected as possible.