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Type of mask or face covering?

My Fellow School Nurses,

What kind of mask/face covering/ PPE are you planning to wear for yourself daily in the coming school year? I'm not sure if I should purchase surgical masks, fabric masks, etc. Should we double mask? And what about face shields? Overkill or no? 

 

Thanks 🙂

Edited by IsItFridayYetRN

shark_nurse14, BSN, RN

Specializes in school nursing.

Our district is going to have two nursing offices when school opens: an isolation office and a "daily visit, injury, mental health" office.

Those in the isolation office will wear full PPE; N95s, gowns, gloves, face shield OR goggles. Those in the "regular" nursing office will wear double-lined cloth masks and googles. 

This was decided by utilizing our state DPH guidelines and surveying our nurses who work at other facilities (hospitals, outpatient clinics, pedi offices) to see what they are doing. 

 

Hope this helps!

Yes, it does, thanks! Our district has not announced yet who will man the isolation room (which I do not even know where this will be yet at my school) but we were told that it will not be the nurse. So, I am presuming from what little info I've gotten from my district that any suspected COVID will first come to my office, then into isolation room while waiting for parent pick up. Which when you think about it is really silly because then my office would be contaminated, need to be cleaned after. I still haven't quite figured out how I am going to do all of this with the regular visits that I have every day? And I have more than one school!!

Flare, ASN, BSN

Specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

I'm supposedly supposed to have one iso room for in each school (I'n the lone nurse in a 2 school district).  No guidance on how this will actually work, who will man it, who will escort student to that room, whether the same person will be there all day or if different people will be exposed all day long..  hot mess over here

Bt as for the mask, I'm planning on cloth.

Sneeze_wheeze

Specializes in School nurse.

I researched masks as we were promised masks at the start of COVID. We got one PPE kit and had to call the health department before we could open it. In looking at masks, the blue paper ones are ASTM level 1. They don’t provide basic protection. I learned the ASTM level 2 mask is a moderate protection mask used during procedures. The ASTM level 3 is used in surgery. I found the ASTM level 2 mask and will wear a cloth mask over it. Living in Florida I plan to take  the ASTM level 2 mask and leave in my hot car on the black leather seats with UV light. It should reach about 140° in the car. I could only get a pack of 10 for $14.99 but it will cover me until I see what student health is going to provide us in terms of PPE. I tried buying the KN 95 but the fit was not good and no real protection. I have a smaller face.

5 hours ago, Flare said:

I'm supposedly supposed to have one iso room for in each school (I'n the lone nurse in a 2 school district).  No guidance on how this will actually work, who will man it, who will escort student to that room, whether the same person will be there all day or if different people will be exposed all day long..  hot mess over here

Bt as for the mask, I'm planning on cloth.

Thanks for the input. No guidance here, either. The not knowing is driving me crazy! 

 

58 minutes ago, Sneeze_wheeze said:

I researched masks as we were promised masks at the start of COVID. We got one PPE kit and had to call the health department before we could open it. In looking at masks, the blue paper ones are ASTM level 1. They don’t provide basic protection. I learned the ASTM level 2 mask is a moderate protection mask used during procedures. The ASTM level 3 is used in surgery. I found the ASTM level 2 mask and will wear a cloth mask over it. Living in Florida I plan to take  the ASTM level 2 mask and leave in my hot car on the black leather seats with UV light. It should reach about 140° in the car. I could only get a pack of 10 for $14.99 but it will cover me until I see what student health is going to provide us in terms of PPE. I tried buying the KN 95 but the fit was not good and no real protection. I have a smaller face.

Thanks for the info- researching now!

What about goggles or face shields? Should we be wearing these when doing simple tasks such as looking at sore throats? 

Sneeze_wheeze

Specializes in School nurse.

The state and district are placing all the unrealistic demands on us. Now every clinic visit is a full scale exam for an inflammatory process. I see 5000 kids in a normal non-Covid year. Teachers have already made it clear if a kid sneezes ship them to the clinic. I’ve been told I must monitor a temp of 99°. Don’t send them to class monitor them. I get anxious just thinking of the work load. 

Yes, I’m dreading it as well. My school is already out of control with teachers sending kids mainly to get them out of their own hair. The majority of what I see are classroom management issues and not really sick kids. Addressed with my administration numerous times to no avail. Now I’m afraid it will be even worse this year. 

SaltineQueen

Specializes in School Nurse, past Med Surge.

Our district is getting us face shields, and working with the local hospital to get us N95s.  No mention of surgical masks but I’m sure if we ask they’ll provide them.  They’re being great.  Even offering to look into a scrub service.  

I'm buying myself a few n95's on eBay and planning to rotate them, covered with a cloth or surgical mask. I'm also planning to wear a face shield.

Pretty sure my coworkers will think I'm nuts, but I am in one of the biggest COVID hotspots in the world, and I promised my husband that I would take every possible precaution. 

My school administraion has said they're getting masks for students, but nothing about PPE for me. I'm not leaving my safety in their hands.

1 hour ago, SaltineQueen said:

Our district is getting us face shields, and working with the local hospital to get us N95s.  No mention of surgical masks but I’m sure if we ask they’ll provide them.  They’re being great.  Even offering to look into a scrub service.  

WOW!, that's awesome. No word about the district purchasing anything for the nurses. I guess I'll have to start shopping around!

 

20 minutes ago, laflaca said:

I'm buying myself a few n95's on eBay and planning to rotate them, covered with a cloth or surgical mask. I'm also planning to wear a face shield.

Pretty sure my coworkers will think I'm nuts, but I am in one of the biggest COVID hotspots in the world, and I promised my husband that I would take every possible precaution. 

My school administraion has said they're getting masks for students, but nothing about PPE for me. I'm not leaving my safety in their hands.

Yes, I agree with you. Hot spot here also. I will check out Ebay! Thanks for the input!

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