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Droplet precautions

Nurses   (397 Views 4 Comments)
by freckles23 freckles23 (Member)

1 Like; 5,196 Visitors; 150 Posts

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It is that time of the season for all of the colds/flus! I worked overnight and everyone was coughing so I wore a mask. We had a patient that we found out after him coming to our unit that he had the flu so we had to put him on droplet and contact precautions and move his room mate. This patient had no manners. Before we moved my patient the flu guy walked over to my patient's side of the room apologizing that we had to move him and my patient just stared at him and looked away. He was not happy. Especially since that guy was hacking up a lung. So we moved my patient and the flu guy had his room door wide open. I got so tired of hearing him cough that we finally closed his door. Was that wrong to do? Also we were in the middle of giving shift report outside of his room and he opened his door and stood right outside the doorway where we were all giving report and we told him to go back in his room and hes like I am in my room and he pointed to the floor where the line was on the tile. Was it wrong to handle the situation like this? If you are hacking up a lung, the door should be closed so it doesnt spread out into the hallways. I felt bad but he had no consideration for infecting any of us and that really rubbed me the wrong way. So in the future how can i handle this situation better for future cold/flu/isolation patients? Do you personally wear a mask during flu season regardless if you got the flu shot? Just curious.

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City-Girl has 20 years experience.

436 Visitors; 101 Posts

Our hospital's policy for those with suspected and confirmed flu is droplet precautions. We educate our patients being placed on droplet precautions on how flu is spread, provide them with a box of masks to wear when they want to walk the halls and ask that any of their visitors wear a mask when visiting as well as washing their hands on departure. Usually patients are receptive and reasonable to our practice.

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Kitiger has 40 years experience as a RN and works as a private duty nurse.

91 Likes; 1 Follower; 18,196 Visitors; 833 Posts

I get the flu shot every year ... and I wear a mask when I'm around those who cough. If the nurses (or, in my case, the client's family members) are coughing, my mask stays on.

Obviously, a person on droplet precautions wears a mask any time they are outside their room. And standing in the doorway coughing into the hall IS outside their room. :eek:

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43 Likes; 1 Follower; 47,298 Visitors; 2,124 Posts

It is that time of the season for all of the colds/flus! I worked overnight and everyone was coughing so I wore a mask. We had a patient that we found out after him coming to our unit that he had the flu so we had to put him on droplet and contact precautions and move his room mate. This patient had no manners. Before we moved my patient the flu guy walked over to my patient's side of the room apologizing that we had to move him and my patient just stared at him and looked away. He was not happy. Especially since that guy was hacking up a lung...

So, this patient apologized to your patient for your patient having to be moved to another room as he was flu positive, and your patient stared at him and then ignored him. Yet, the patient with the flu was the rude one? It wasn't his fault that he was placed in a semi private room.

...So we moved my patient and the flu guy had his room door wide open. I got so tired of hearing him cough that we finally closed his door. Was that wrong to do? ...

Yes, in my opinion it was wrong, and rude. Why not give him a bell and hang an unclean sign around his neck?

...Also we were in the middle of giving shift report outside of his room and he opened his door and stood right outside the doorway where we were all giving report and we told him to go back in his room and hes like I am in my room and he pointed to the floor where the line was on the tile. Was it wrong to handle the situation like this? ...

Yes, if all you said was that he needed to return to his room. What would have been better would have been to ask him to step away from the door while you were conducting shift report, and let him know that this was to protect everyone's confidentiality. You had already segregated him once, why should he be happy about this?

...If you are hacking up a lung, the door should be closed so it doesnt spread out into the hallways...

As the distance for which one could potentially be infected with an agent spread by droplet is approximately 4 feet, there really isn't much reason to keep the door closed.

...I felt bad but he had no consideration for infecting any of us and that really rubbed me the wrong way. So in the future how can i handle this situation better for future cold/flu/isolation patients? ...

Again, if he was standing in the door to his room, the chances of you, or any of your coworkers being infect were fairly slim.

It reads as if you were perturbed at him from the beginning, over something that wasn't his fault. While your patient wasn't obligated to accept the apology, you should have at least acknowledged it and let him know it wasn't his fault. Instead you, and it sound as if your coworkers did as well, ostracized him for the fact that he was there.

...Do you personally wear a mask during flu season regardless if you got the flu shot? Just curious.

No, only if I'm entering a room of a patient with a known or suspected infectious condition.

Do you were a mask outside of the hospital during flu season? If not, why? You are much more likely to be exposed to someone with an infectious condition outside of the hospital, than from one of your patients.

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