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FT staff floating to COVID units and then back to dementia unit

Disasters   (229 Views | 6 Replies)
by Mayday83 Mayday83 (New) New Nurse

Mayday83 has 1 years experience .

276 Profile Views; 2 Posts

Hello all. I mostly lurk here, but have a concern I’m hoping someone could help with. I work in a post-acute SNF in their locked dementia unit. I’m one of the longest tenured nurses in the facility and work full time. We have another unit which had our first covid case. Since then it’s spread like wildfire - on that unit alone. Now many staff on that unit are getting sick or simply calling out. They’re floating staff all over like crazy. From non-covid units to the covid units then back again.

I'm absolutely terrified of it coming to our dementia unit. Most of our patients are walkie-talkies, and it’s been impossible keeping them isolated. We had a few scares already, and people were walking from isolation rooms into clean rooms, out of clean rooms into isolation rooms. We hardly have time for anything except keeping them in their rooms.

I don’t want to see any of our FT staff - aides or nurses - floated to the covid unit then back again, and risk bringing it back to our people where it’ll be nearly impossible to contain. I just don’t think k it’s a good idea taking FT staff from a “clean” unit to an infected unit then back again.

Does my staff have a leg to stand on in refusing to float? Or no? Thanks in advance for any insight. 

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workinmomRN2012 has 8 years experience as a BSN.

203 Posts; 5,995 Profile Views

I doubt that they have a leg to stand on. I say this only because it has already happened on the unit that I work at in a hospital (big hospital in the NE). We are a non COVID unit BUT we have staff that is floating to us from having floated to a COVID unit just the night before. I have brought this up as a concern for our patients and staff getting infected to no avail. It's no surprise that about 8 of our nurses and 2 doctors have been infected in the last 2 months. Good luck 🙂 

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

8 Followers; 2 Articles; 3,080 Posts; 68,067 Profile Views

I'm sorry that the dementia patients might be at risk.  These are uncertain times that are challenging many people.

On the brighter side; at least they aren't fully aware of these dangers.

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InTheLongRun has 14 years experience.

61 Posts; 299 Profile Views

I don't know if it would do any good or not but you might contact the State Board of Health as another idea.  

23 minutes ago, Emergent said:

I'm sorry that the dementia patients might be at risk.  These are uncertain times that are challenging many people.

On the brighter side; at least they aren't fully aware of these dangers.

Not even a little funny.  Once infected they will suffer as much as anyone and likely thru a real horror of symptoms and painful death.

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Emergent has 25 years experience.

8 Followers; 2 Articles; 3,080 Posts; 68,067 Profile Views

2 minutes ago, InTheLongRun said:

I don't know if it would do any good or not but you might contact the State Board of Health as another idea.  

Not even a little funny.  Once infected they will suffer as much as anyone and likely thru a real horror of symptoms and painful death.

Death is horrible. I'm sorry for these unfortunate souls.

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1,882 Posts; 18,885 Profile Views

I think your concerns are valid.  Unfortunately, that might not alter the decision making.
Even if PPE was excellent, and staff was well trained, it would be a significant risk.

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

3 Followers; 4,435 Posts; 33,421 Profile Views

That does sound risky, but what's the alternative? If you can suggest something workable, you might get somewhere. If the only suggestion is to leave the covid unit grossly understaffed, then you probably won't get anywhere.

Floating the same people all the time might be a good idea, or even transferring them to that unit temporarily and entirely. The problem with that is an obvious one. Who would volunteer to be moved as opposed to taking their turn(s)?

Edited by Sour Lemon

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