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How do you do lab work on patients while maintaining social distancing?

Posted

Specializes in Psych. Has 5 years experience.

I draw labs in the morning on my patients (I work overnight), and for me it's usually a very fast process (doesn't take more than 2 minutes). Once in a while, though, you get a 'hard stick' patient and that can take a little while (e.g., more than 5 minutes) as you're looking for decent venous access. You're still nearly face to face with that patient, though. Considering all the labs I do, maybe I already got this corona!

Uroboros, APRN

Specializes in Advanced Practice Critical Care and Family Nursing. Has 17 years experience.

What's your definition of nosocomial distancing?

"Anybody that wants a test can get a test."

-Donald J Trump, 3 March 2020

What exactly is your question?

Yes, maybe you are infected. As a nurse, you must understand both the risks and the mitigation strategies. So, what are you asking?

And why is there an exclamation point at the end of "maybe I already got this corona!"? That is weird.

herring_RN, ASN, BSN

Specializes in Critical care, tele, Medical-Surgical. Has 49 years experience.

I think all patients should be considered possibly infected with the virus for the purpose of protecting nurses and other workers. The CDC defines close contact as being within about 6 feet of an infected person while not wearing recommended PPE.

I interpret this to mean that since asymptomatic people can spread the virus the person drawing blood must wear a proper fitting PAPRs, N95, or N100 mask OR wear a surgical mask, and have the patient wear a face mask until the nurse or phlebotomist is no longer in close contact.

https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/Cal-OSHA-Guidance-for-respirator-shortages.pdf

https://www.CDC.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/infection-control-recommendations.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.CDC.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Finfection-control%2Fcontrol-recommendations.html#minimize

Rose_Queen, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in OR, education. Has 16 years experience.

11 minutes ago, herring_RN said:

I think all patients should be considered possibly infected with the virus for the purpose of protecting nurses and other workers.

My facility recently added a face shield requirement for all staff involved in patient care, whether the patient is COVID+, PUI, negative, or anything. Masks have been required for months.

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

1 hour ago, Rose_Queen said:

My facility recently added a face shield requirement for all staff involved in patient care, whether the patient is COVID+, PUI, negative, or anything. Masks have been required for months.

That sounds absolutely horrible.

Just now, adventure_rn said:

That sounds absolutely horrible.

Why horrible?

adventure_rn, BSN

Specializes in NICU, PICU.

10 minutes ago, toomuchbaloney said:

Why horrible?

The idea of having to wear the shield itself for all patient interaction sounds miserable, especially for hours on end.

It's great that they have adequate PPE and are acting to protect nurses, but I just feel bad for the nurses who actually have to do it. It's cumbersome enough to wear a mask all shift, let alone having to wear (and don/doff/clean) a face shield. Sounds both uncomfortable and inconvenient. I completely understand the rationale for why they have to do it, it just seems like it would suck.

TBH, I feel awful for all of the nurses who have to wear extra PPE for long stretches of time. I just wear a surgical mask and my ears and nose hurt after 12 hours. I can't imagine what it's like to have to wear an N-95 for 12 hours straight. My adult ICU friends have told me that it feels as though they're air-hungry and suffocating (on top of simply being hot and claustrophobic).

Edited by adventure_rn

CampyCamp, RN

Has 18 years experience.

I feel like I don't remember the last time I had a patient interaction without a face shield.

By definition we don't 'socially distance' while we practice face-to-face. We use infection prevention and control, aseptic techniques, etc.

Everyone else calls it social distancing...

Uroboros, APRN

Specializes in Advanced Practice Critical Care and Family Nursing. Has 17 years experience.

The hierarchical de facto system of governing these threads continues to make the best power point material for my courses. I mean seriously, you cannot make this kind of whimsical stuff up. I recently revisited T. S Elliot's "The Cocktail Party", and what a masterpiece.

"It will do you no harm to find yourself ridiculous.
Resign yourself to be the fool you are...
...We must always take risks. That is our destiny...”
― T.S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party-

Without sounding too capricious I say take a risk, draw your morning labs, go test yourself or someone else for COVID today even, but I'd also suggest wearing a mask, with or without eye contact.

emtb2rn, BSN, RN, EMT-B

Specializes in Emergency. Has 21 years experience.

14 hours ago, adventure_rn said:

The idea of having to wear the shield itself for all patient interaction sounds miserable, especially for hours on end.

It's great that they have adequate PPE and are acting to protect nurses, but I just feel bad for the nurses who actually have to do it. It's cumbersome enough to wear a mask all shift, let alone having to wear (and don/doff/clean) a face shield. Sounds both uncomfortable and inconvenient. I completely understand the rationale for why they have to do it, it just seems like it would suck.

TBH, I feel awful for all of the nurses who have to wear extra PPE for long stretches of time. I just wear a surgical mask and my ears and nose hurt after 12 hours. I can't imagine what it's like to have to wear an N-95 for 12 hours straight. My adult ICU friends have told me that it feels as though they're air-hungry and suffocating (on top of simply being hot and claustrophobic).

N95, surgical mask, shield. In the ED, every pt, every encounter. Sucks? Yeah, kinda, but after over 2 months of this, not a whole lot of complaining. We use bandaids for nose, have clips so the surgical mask straps don’t cut into ears. A uv disinfector is available to clean shields between encounters.

Seen too many asymptomatic pts whose labs come back as hmmm, so again everybody covid + until proven otherwise.

17 hours ago, adventure_rn said:

The idea of having to wear the shield itself for all patient interaction sounds miserable, especially for hours on end.

It's great that they have adequate PPE and are acting to protect nurses, but I just feel bad for the nurses who actually have to do it. It's cumbersome enough to wear a mask all shift, let alone having to wear (and don/doff/clean) a face shield. Sounds both uncomfortable and inconvenient. I completely understand the rationale for why they have to do it, it just seems like it would suck.

TBH, I feel awful for all of the nurses who have to wear extra PPE for long stretches of time. I just wear a surgical mask and my ears and nose hurt after 12 hours. I can't imagine what it's like to have to wear an N-95 for 12 hours straight. My adult ICU friends have told me that it feels as though they're air-hungry and suffocating (on top of simply being hot and claustrophobic).

It's not comfortable but is part of the job when dealing with contagions and vulnerable populations. Working for years in a regional burn center teaches one how to spend long hours in very warm and humid rooms in full protective gear, head to toe. At least we weren't worried about catching what they had.

Page 2.

Impressive.

This was not a real question.

14 minutes ago, hherrn said:

Page 2.

Impressive.

This was not a real question.

Should we list the "real" questions behind this OP...as interpreted individually? That might be interesting.

Edited by toomuchbaloney

dianah, ADN

Specializes in Cath Lab/Radiology. Has 46 years experience.

Please comment to the subject of the thread only, and refrain from speculations.

23 hours ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

I draw labs in the morning on my patients (I work overnight), and for me it's usually a very fast process (doesn't take more than 2 minutes). Once in a while, though, you get a 'hard stick' patient and that can take a little while (e.g., more than 5 minutes) as you're looking for decent venous access. You're still nearly face to face with that patient, though. Considering all the labs I do, maybe I already got this corona!

Where is the question? Perhaps you are an asymptomatic spreader, is that your question? Are you following your e employer protocols?

If you want to be tested you can be tested, right?