Problems with PPE Problems with PPE | allnurses

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Problems with PPE

  1. 0 I am a student but I thought this would be the best forum for my question. Recently I was able to have my first surgical observation experience. I loved it! I found the experience fascinating and a great learning experience. The procedure itself did not bother me at all.

    Unfortunately, I still had to step out for a few minutes because I simply could not breathe with the mask on. I felt like I could only breathe in hot, stale air. I started to get extremely warm and flushed and my ears started ringing and I felt faint.

    Later, I had a patient on contact precautions and I had the same experience after putting on the PPE, esp the mask.

    I guess my question is...Do you just get used to it? Or is there a "proper" way to breathe with mask on? I can't be fainting every time I need to wear a mask around a patient. Thanks!
  2. 5 Comments

  3. Visit  Rose_Queen profile page
    #1 0
    One thing would be to try different masks if they are available. My OR offers at least 5 different options. I have one that I hate, one that I can tolerate, and one that I prefer.
  4. Visit  springchick1 profile page
    #2 0
    Quote from melc0305
    I felt like I could only breathe in hot, stale air.
    It can take a while to get used to wearing and breathing in a mask. I chew gum and that helps.
  5. Visit  ORoxyO profile page
    #3 0
    Quote from aubgurl
    It can take a while to get used to wearing and breathing in a mask. I chew gum and that helps.
    I can't chew gum while wearing a mask! I am always short of breath!

    Other than that... I think finding the right mask for you, and just getting used to it. At first I felt the same as you, but now I feel naked without it!
  6. Visit  sugarik13 profile page
    #4 0
    Just try the many different ones around the OR. Once you find the style and material you like you will get used to the feeling of wearing it. Don't tie it too tightly around your head and neck either...after I tie mine I slip my fingers in the mask along my cheeks and make sure I can get one finger along each cheek. This provides a vent for fresh air to come in. You can also play around with how much you pinch in at the nose. Feeling faint can also be made worse by not eating or hydrating properly. Some people don't eat well the first few times in an OR because they don't know if the sights might make them feel sick, but there is a lot of the OR environment that add to it...strange smells (bovied), wearing a mask (too tight), temp of the room (peds very warm)...etc

    I am so used to wearing a mask now I feel naked without it too. BUT, put a N95 TB mask on me and I feel like I am suffocating!
  7. Visit  KtFern profile page
    #5 0
    Try using the one that loops around your ears, they are more loose than the tie back ones. I usually gives these to any students that come through.