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Sweating in those covid gowns!

LibraNurse27 specializes in Community Health, Med/Surg, ICU Stepdown.

Hi all, Just wondering how you get your confidence back when you feel off your game. My unit is so short staffed and covid is exploding. I feel like my skills are not as on point as usual. I'm usually good at ultrasound IVs but lately I've been missing more than I get! I couldn't get the last female foley I tried, and gave up, asked for help.  

Now I'm so nervous all the time, praying no one will ask me to do an IV and none of my patients will need a foley or NG or anything. Today I was doing an IV on an obese, swollen intubated covid patient, sweating in my gown with my face shield fogging up and making it hard to see the screen. It took me three tries and I felt so defeated. Pt was sedated so he didn't feel it, but it just sucks. Then on to an adorable 90 yr old lady but also obese and swollen, tried twice and gave up! How is everyone else coping with the extra shifts and extra stress? Has anyone had an off couple of weeks and recovered?

On 7/26/2020 at 11:50 PM, LibraNurse27 said:

Hi all, Just wondering how you get your confidence back when you feel off your game. My unit is so short staffed and covid is exploding. I feel like my skills are not as on point as usual. I'm usually good at ultrasound IVs but lately I've been missing more than I get! I couldn't get the last female foley I tried, and gave up, asked for help.  

Now I'm so nervous all the time, praying no one will ask me to do an IV and none of my patients will need a foley or NG or anything. Today I was doing an IV on an obese, swollen intubated covid patient, sweating in my gown with my face shield fogging up and making it hard to see the screen. It took me three tries and I felt so defeated. Pt was sedated so he didn't feel it, but it just sucks. Then on to an adorable 90 yr old lady but also obese and swollen, tried twice and gave up! How is everyone else coping with the extra shifts and extra stress? Has anyone had an off couple of weeks and recovered?

You can use defogging sprays  for the face shield /goggles, but as far as the gowns, there is not much you can do. The plastic ones are.horible. Im not sure if you are allowed to change your scrubs midshift but where I work if we end up working a double (16 hours) they let us change our uniforms and freshen up. 

As far as having a few weeks off, I haven't even tried asking for PTO because we are so short staffed I know I will get denied on my unit. But things may be different where you work, so yes, please ask if you can take even a week off, it will help you ground yourself and rebalance. 

Hopefully this whole nightmare will end soon. Hugs x 

Hoshio has 2 years experience as a RN.

Sorry to hear that you're having a hard time. My unit was switched to a COVID unit right when the pandemic started in MA, and honestly it took a few weeks to get use to all the PPE & feeling confident in using it. As suggested antifog spray is helpful, or you can try ensuring you have a tight seal on your N95 and don't breath intensely heavy. D/t the difference in the temperature in the air and between the face shields, your breaths will make stuff worse. In time I promise you'll get use to using everything. 

 

Also try to work your required hours if you must. On my unit I use to pick up a lot and work consecutive days straight. With COVID, doing those things exhausted me, and I've since tried spacing workdays out not stacking more than two days straight if I can. You need recovery time, especially now. 

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