Conserving PPE in a med-surg setting

by michnurse2014 michnurse2014 (New) New

I'm wondering how other facilities are handling the issue of trying to conserve PPE (as well as minimize staff exposure when possible). We had a COVID-19 rule-out patient the other day who was confused and using her call light multiple times an hour. Each time staff went into the room to answer the light and reorient the patient meant PPE had to be donned and doffed. What about patients who are high fall risk, and frequently trying to get out of bed and setting off the bed alarm? What about those who are incontinent and requiring frequent bed changes? Or whose who need to be assisted to the commode by one or more staff multiple times a shift? We are trying to cluster care as much as possible, grouping assessments, procedures, and medications together when we can with these COVID-19 rule-outs, but it is frustrating.

I'm sure hospital administration would agree that it is imperative that we conserve our limited PPE. We are not quite at the point yet of admitting that it is also just as imperative that we minimize risk to our staff. At this point, customer service is still #1 and we are striving to provide "excellent service" by answering lights promptly and being available to meet all of the patients' needs, whether it be fulfilling requests for graham crackers and ginger ale, fluffing pillows and repositioning, or bringing PRN medication.

How do we manage all this?


accleary, ADN

Has 3 years experience. 5 Posts

My hospital has made a covid-specific unit. On these units only nurses and physicians enter pt rooms, no respiratoy/therapy/dietary/care managers etc. The staff is wearing one gown, mask and face shield all day. Don and doff gloves for pt rooms and wipe down gown and shield w bleach wipes when doffing.

I understand conserving ppe but I'm concered with this method too..