Hi, everyone --
I work in elective surgery (not a frontline nurse) and I was laid off d/t COVID-19 in mid-March, with the promise of being hired back. I've been in contact with my manager recently and it is expected that I return to work next week (great, right?!) However, I'm hesitant... I was told we are going to be testing patients. It seems that there is no solid plan as to where they will be testing patients (indoors? outdoors? in the waiting room?), when they will be testing patients (patients typically come to the office numerous times before surgery, but they're only being tested a few days prior to procedure), the building has poor ventilation, and I made the mistake about asking about PPE... sounds like we're expected to be OK with just surgical masks and a face shield when testing patients. It seems like I received a bit of pushback when I asked about N95's or something that filters a bit better than your typical surgical mask. I did a bit of research on the OSHA website and here's what I found:
Basically, I want to know if any other nurses are in this situation. Are your jobs not supplying proper PPE? Are you expected to just be happy you have a job to return to, grin and bear it? I love my job and I want to return, but I'm super cautious about this... I have some underlying conditions that could cause greater-than-average health risks to me if infected, and of course I'm not trying to hurt my husband, parents, in-laws, etc. Help!