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COVID-19, If a nurse needs quarantined...

Disasters   (1,751 Views | 14 Replies)

Trampledunderfoot has 2 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Corrections, Dementia/Alzheimer's.

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I have not been a nurse long and have never worked through an epidemic like this before.

If a nurse starts showing symptoms of covid-19 while at work, will she be sent home to be quarantined? Will she be quarantined at work so as not to spread it on her way home or to her family? Will she be made to continue working so healthy nurses would have a better chance of not catching it? (I don't know if this is a thing, but if a nurse as covid-19 then there is no risk for her to care for covid-19 patients, right? If she's basically well enough to carry on.)  How is this scenario handled?  If a nurse comes down with symptoms at home, will she be made to go to work anyway, or will she be made to stay home? If she is made to stay home for 2 weeks or more, will she be paid?

I work in a prison, but am interested in people's thoughts in other settings.  I initially thought a prison would be least likely to catch the virus.  If it is spread to the prison, then of course it would spread throughout the camp fast.  But am I right in thinking it would probably be the least likely place to pick it up? Since it is not a hospital or clinic where sick people flock to, or a nursing home or school where you have families etc. in and out constantly.

Is there anyone out there with an outbreak at your facility?  What are the working conditions like at this point?

Thanks.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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It depends on your facility's policies, but in general, it's just like any other illness. If you're sick you stay home, just like you would if you got the flu, both to protect your patients and your coworkers.

You really want to minimize the exposure to other staff members (since if everybody gets sick, there's nobody to take care of the patients). As you said, if prisoners become exposed, the virus would likely spread rapidly, so your main goal is not to expose the prisoners at all. There are other countries where prisons have had major problems with the virus, and I've even read that in Iran, certain prisoners have been temporarily released because of these concerns.

Regardless of whether or not you contract the virus at work or at home, you quarantine at home (unless your local government has some specific quarantine facility that they want you to go to).

Your pay situation will be determined entirely by your facility. While quarantined, it's possible that you'll have to use your PTO or go without pay.

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Trampledunderfoot has 2 years experience as a LPN and specializes in Corrections, Dementia/Alzheimer's.

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That's interesting.  Why would they temporarily release prisoners? Is it because they are immune deficient? It would suck to later be picked back up.

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

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59 minutes ago, Trampledunderfoot said:

That's interesting.  Why would they temporarily release prisoners? Is it because they are immune deficient? It would suck to later be picked back up.

Nope, it’s because upper respiratory infections can spread quickly when you’ve got a ton of people packed into a tiny, inadequately ventilated space, hence why sporting events are getting cancelled (NCAA, NBA) and tourist attractions are being closed (like the Louvre, Broadway shows).

Let's say that a prisoner is sick/contagious and is in the prison general population--they have the ability to infect 100s of other inmates, who can each go on to infect 100s more, and suddenly you've got 1000s of infected prisoners. In comparison, let's say that the sick/contagious prisoner has been temporarily released, and they're at home with their family of 5--they have the ability to infect 5 people (instead of 100s-1000s if they remained in prison).

If the prisoners stay in prison, they’re sitting ducks (same concern as with nursing homes, university dorms, etc.). Conversely, they’re at lower risk if they’re staying at home with their nuclear families, exposed to a couple of people at a time (I.e. ‘social distancing’) rather than being crammed together in a prison.

In my understanding, Iran is considering it a furlough, and yes, they have to go back to prison once it’s done; from what I've read, it's only an option for certain prisoners (I.e. non-violent, only accused of certain types of crimes). Granted, since the virus was already spreading through Iranian prisons, they may have just sent a bunch of infected people out into the community. 

Edited by adventure_rn

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AggieNurse99 has 12 years experience as a BSN and specializes in Telemetry, Med/Surg, Infusion, Vascular Access.

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If the NDAs weren’t in effect, you could ask the nurses who worked during the Ebola crisis at the hospital in Dallas how well it went. 

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pr0dr0me has 2 years experience as a BSN, RN.

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Quote

It depends on your facility's policies, but in general, it's just like any other illness.

I expected that to be followed with, "You stay at work until you're presyncopal, intractably vomiting, or having coughing fits in patient rooms, and you still feel guilty for going home and calling out for the next shift."

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adventure_rn is a BSN and specializes in NICU, PICU.

3 Followers; 1 Article; 1,327 Posts; 19,132 Profile Views

34 minutes ago, toomuchbaloney said:

Do you imagine that the CBP and ICE might release the thousands that they have detained in cramped and unhealthy conditions before they start dying? Unlikely, right?

It sounds like the ACLU is pushing for the release of all ICE detainees, and they're currently suing for the release of certain high-risk individuals. It will be interesting to see what happens, but it's such a politically-charged topic that I'm guessing it will be way more controversial than the prisons (which seems ironic)...

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/16/applauding-release-prisoners-ohio-due-coronavirus-threat-aclu-calls-officials

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-ice-lawsuit-aclu-release-sick-elderly-immigrants-at-risk/

(Sidebar: not to make light of a serious situation, but I found it really amusing that the CBS article mentioned a patient with a "colonoscopy bag.")

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McMichigan specializes in Medical Surgical.

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We have had nurses at my hospital who had been exposed and were not symptomatic. When we finally got the patients test results back confirming it was positive they were sent home to be off for 14 days with pay and did not have to use their PTO. These nurses worked until the patient test result came back positive, which is kind of scary. It took four days for the results to come back. These nurses are also not going to be tested unless they start having symptoms. 

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McMichigan specializes in Medical Surgical.

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Yes, I am a credible source.I am a RN in Michigan, have 12 years experience, work on a med surg floor in the Detroit metropolitan area.

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