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Protecting our families?

Disasters   (443 Views | 6 Replies)

Shandler has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

74 Profile Views; 3 Posts

Depending on our location, many of us are already starting to be in contact with patients who are either rule out or have tested positive. Even though we are wearing the proper PPE and taking precautionary steps to avoid spreading the virus, the reality is we all have to go home to our families each night.  This has me seriously considering the most responsible steps to take to protect my family after I come home from my shifts.

Currently, I am taking my scrubs off in the garage, bagging them, putting them directly in the washer, and walking to the shower without going anywhere else in the house. Whether this is enough I do not know, which is why I am looking for the opinions and ideas of other nurses.

What are you each doing when you get home to reduce the chance of transmission to your family members/housemates? If you are treating an actively positive patient are you separating yourself in a different room of the home when you go home? Do you feel confident that practicing regular common sense hygiene is enough to limit exposure to our loved ones? (I am referring to nurses who have not tested positive and are exhibiting no symptoms.)

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15 Posts; 998 Profile Views

Protecting my family is my number one worry about the  Covid virus.  I am worried I could catch it, which would be bad, but I made the decision to help people and to risk my life at times to do so. My family never made this agreement.   As bad as the news media is blowing this out of proportion, the hospital that employees me seems to be doing the opposite.  ALL of out N95 masks have vanished and rumor has it they are under lock and key somewhere.   They will issue you 1 N95 mask (you have to sign for it) and it will be your masks for the foreseeable future.  However, you will only get your n95 mask after the pt has been worked up and everything else has been ruled out.  This includes a negative A/B Flu test.  Then they will "give" you a mask.  All the bottle of hand sanitize at my hospital have also gone missing....no I blame ppl not the hospital for this.  I asked to see what our policy was for treating pt's with Covid or suspected of Covid and was told I would be notified when I needed the info.  Apparently we have converted a single person ER room into a multi person (ie 6 person) room.  They have some catchy acronym for Vertical Care Stations, but it just means a hard chair.  I was told that the loss of privacy and HIPAA was acceptable due to the current pandemic.   I am not sure what frightens me most, how easily we disregard privacy or the virus itself.  I am not saying I am 100% correct on this, just that for me this is a concerning issue.   And then we send pt's home to "self quarantine."  50 years ago, this would have worked with no problem.  Today?  Yeah, some people with morals and concerns for the greater good will follow these recommendations.  But I don't think most people will.  People don't even seem to want to bother getting dressed to go shop at Wal Mart.   And now you ask them to stay home and delay their need for instant gratification?   I can't see that happening.  And what is a person is positive for Covid and they know they are suppose to isolate themselves but they go out shopping? Or to a movie or church?  Will we do anything?  You probably will not be able to tell this person for a well person.   I am sorry this is a bit of a rant.  I worry that "my" hospital is not doing all it can to keep me informed or to keep me protected.  The new rules come down from "on high", ie, Management type that do no pt care and the only way they would catch the Covid is from the person delivering their coffee.   And as I said, as much as I worry about my own life, my family's lives are my most pressing concern.   At the lest, I would like to thank anyone reading this for allowing me to vent a bit.  Seriously, thank you.  I know so many people worry about this, but as nurses, we are the front line fighters in this battle and we seem to be some of the most unprepared in this war.

And, IMHO, the USA always seems lax in being proactive, once you wake her up, changes will happen.  Probably not today or tomorrow.  However, I couldn't even guess on what laws and practices will go into effect at the start of the next flu season.  I even wonder if  the Flu Vac will become compulsory.   I understand that doing that will not "fix" anything but logic flies out the window in times like these.

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Kitiger has 40 years experience as a RN and specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics.

1 Follower; 1,015 Posts; 19,282 Profile Views

50 minutes ago, Irving said:

50 years ago, this would have worked with no problem.  Today?  Yeah, some people with morals and concerns for the greater good will follow these recommendations.  But I don't think most people will.  People don't even seem to want to bother getting dressed to go shop at Wal Mart.   And now you ask them to stay home and delay their need for instant gratification?   I can't see that happening.  And what if a person is positive for Covid and they know they are suppose to isolate themselves but they go out shopping? Or to a movie or church?  Will we do anything?  You probably will not be able to tell this person from a well person. 

You're so right, Irving. I grew up in a different America. Our culture has gone down-hill.

Is it illegal to knowingly go out and infect others? Do we have such a law, aimed at those who know they are infected with HIV?

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1 Follower; 2,155 Posts; 36,571 Profile Views

The news media is not blowing this out of proportion...this is a dangerous pandemic...the actions we take will actually matter. 

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Shandler has 5 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/Critical Care.

3 Posts; 74 Profile Views

2 hours ago, toomuchbaloney said:

The news media is not blowing this out of proportion...this is a dangerous pandemic...the actions we take will actually matter. 

Which is why I would like to encourage a conversation about practical measures, suggestions and ideas that we, as healthcare workers, can take to limit the risk we bring home to our families after we work with these patients. 

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1 Follower; 2,155 Posts; 36,571 Profile Views

10 minutes ago, Shandler said:

Which is why I would like to encourage a conversation about practical measures, suggestions and ideas that we, as healthcare workers, can take to limit the risk we bring home to our families after we work with these patients. 

Ask your employer about washing your scrubs for you.  Change and shower before getting home. Strict personal space and hygiene standards.  Exacting attention to infectious disease protocols. Follow the science, not the politics. 

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My units are providing scrubs to change into that we leave there. I change my shoes at my trunk, use "purple top" wipes on my badge and vocera clip, cell phone, keys, anything I'm leaving out of the building with. I have goggles and N95 I wear ALL day. After that covid intubation I asked my ex bf for his spare chem lab goggles as the hospital ones are ***. I also started wearing disposable surgical caps. Most of these resources are starting to diminish so they gave us brown paper bags to keep our masks in. I'm pregnant with a 2 year old and my babysitter is my 63 year old mother with lupus. I have seriously considered sending them away from me, but our peak is not until mid May. So what...I don't see my son for 2 months?? When is safe anyway? My OB sent me home with a FHR doppler and auto BP cuff and basically said "see you when I see you". WOW!!.

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