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Are you being required to wear face masks all shift now on assisted living, memory care or nursing homes?

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Yesterday, we were told that all staff had to wear face masks at all times. None of our residents at assisted living are coughing. I looked at CDC guidelines and all I could find was recommendations for a face mask for a resident who is coughing. Are other places requiring all staff to wear face masks at all times too or just us? The CDC also recommends that a sick staff member be sent home. At my job, we are being told that no one can call in sick and if they don't show up for their shift that it is patient abandonement and they can get fired. What's going on at your facilities?

No, we are not being told to wear masks at all times, in fact we are being told to ration our usage carefully. Only understand access to masks. No covid cases currently but there are facilities nearby that have them and we know of staff that has been directly exposed so it is only a matter of time before it happens. I think we should all be wearing masks but we do not have enough to take that step.

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

On 3/20/2020 at 7:17 AM, Blackcat99 said:

At my job, we are being told that no one can call in sick and if they don't show up for their shift that it is patient abandonement and they can get fired.

That is definitely false. You can certainly get fired, but that isn't abandonment (as discussed ad nauseam on this site). Even if you are fired, no action could be taken against your license.

In any event, my hospital recently implemented a policy that all staff have to wear masks at all times (the only exception being the break room).

I'm surprised that an LTC would do that. LTCs don't tend to stockpile several months worth of supplies; I'd think you'd burn through your mask stock far too quickly, and then you'd be unable to replenish it if/when people actually start showing symptoms.

Nurse manager at an LTC here. We have discussed having staff wear masks at all times, but supply is uncertain so I'm not sure we will take that step at this time. We have a decent stockpile of surgical masks and some N95's but we don't want to burn through it. We currently do not have any positive cases, but we are putting certain residents on precautions. We are screening staff very carefully, and anyone who has any respiratory symptoms and/or fever, has traveled or has potentially been exposed cannot work for 14 days. We have been working short but it is what it is, I would rather our residents stay safe and keep this out of our facility at all costs. We have recently had a few employees be tested before being allowed to come back to work, so they can come back before the 14 days. I am very surprised your facility is forcing people to work if they could be sick. That seems very irresponsible.

thinbluelineRN, MSN, NP

Specializes in Corrections, Public Health, Occupational Medicine.

I'm in an urgent care and as of today, we are required to wear a mask at all times during patient interactions. We are allowed one mask per day per person (healthcare provider).

mellster, LPN

Specializes in LTC, home health. Has 26 years experience.

We were just told yesterday that we will have to use the same mask for several days and store in a paper bag. To me, that is just disgusting. I would love to culture those masks after a week to see what grows. I won't be back for at least a week though since I started having symptoms yesterday and got tested today. We don't currently have any covid 19 cases at my facility.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

On 3/31/2020 at 8:53 AM, KSinMT said:

. We have a decent stockpile of surgical masks and some N95's but we don't want to burn through it. We currently do not

Majority of patients who have died are from LTC. The writing was on the wall but your could not read it.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

I have a UV sanitizer at home to sanitize my mask. I just wish I had a way to test the sanitizer, to know whether it really works. I am reading up on it.

londonflo

Specializes in oncology. Has 44 years experience.

1 hour ago, londonflo said:

Majority of patients who have died are from LTC. The writing was on the wall but your could not read it.

I was rash in posting the entry above. Upon reflection I realize that many LTC workers did not take micro. For this reason, and many more, LTC facilities should have an infectious disease Registered Nurse whose sole focus would be monitoring the infectious diseases that are on the horizon (via Public health, CDC and WHO), develop thoughtful plans on establishing an N95 stash, the budget to order supplies and the ability to close the facility to non residents. This RN should develop realistic plans to isolate patients who live in a congregate and follow through with disinfecting and cleaning private and public areas. The RN should also, using BEST practices, develop stringent guidelines for assessing/evaluating staff entering the facility

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

35 minutes ago, londonflo said:

I was rash in posting the entry above. Upon reflection I realize that many LTC workers did not take micro. For this reason, and many more, LTC facilities should have an infectious disease Registered Nurse whose sole focus would be monitoring the infectious diseases that are on the horizon (via Public health, CDC and WHO), develop thoughtful plans on establishing an N95 stash, the budget to order supplies and the ability to close the facility to non residents. This RN should develop realistic plans to isolate patients who live in a congregate and follow through with disinfecting and cleaning private and public areas. The RN should also, using BEST practices, develop stringent guidelines for assessing/evaluating staff entering the facility

Who is going to pay this nurse's wages? Who is going to buy the N 95 stash? This sounds like a dream. A good dream, perhaps, but not one that is likely to be realized.