Wearing a mask in a hallway

  1. I live in Southern California so I can safely say that I live with allergies 7/24/365. And it gets worse when the weather gets drier. Anyway, so I have chronic dry cough from nasal drip due to allergies.

    I was discharging my patient one day and I decided to wear a mask while taking him to his car on a wheelchair because I did not want to sneeze or cough on top of his head.

    And our infection control nurse came and started talking about infection control and not wearing PPEs outside patient's room, etc. And her lecture ended with "Don't wear a mask. Cough into your sleeve instead. Or you should have called in sick".

    So.. should I call in sick everytime I get allergy attacks? I wore a mask to protect my patient from me and no one likes to see a nurse coughing in front of them. I did explain to my patient that I did not have cold/flu/any other infectious condition but allergies before putting on a mask.

    I understand that it's a CDC guideline but I just couldn't find a logic behind 'do not wear a mask outside patient's room' policy to prevent infection. Can someone help me understand?
  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   marie.rn2419
    That's interesting, because during flu season, if you will not/are unable to get a flu shot, my big hospital system requires you to wear a mask at all times during your shift for the entirety of the season. So, what's the difference really?
  4. by   FlyingJoey
    Exactly. Infection control nurse said, "you can wear a mask only during flu season if you're not vaccinated but you cannot wear it when flu season is over."

    I just don't get it...
  5. by   Here.I.Stand
    So on May 2, the mask transforms from an effective prevention measure to an infection risk? And yeah, calling in sick for every episode of the sniffles won't go over well.