Unable to wear N95 or papr

Posted

I had a horrible experience yesterday.  I was asked to float to the covid unit.  I told them that I was fit tested and failed the test for N95, so they said I had to wear a Papr. Well, I got up to the floor and they couldn't find any hoods.  Meanwhile an hour had gone by with 6 patients having no nurse.  Rather than find another nurse that could take the patients, the supervisor wasted another hour trying to find a hood.  When the supervisor finally found one, basically taking a hood from an OT therapist's locker, I tried to put the hood on.  As soon as I got the hood on, I couldn't breathe, got nauseated and started sweating.  I basically had a panic attack because I couldn't breathe.  I told the charge nurse I had to get it off.  She called the supervisor who basically said "tough".  Then she called me down to her office and tried to bully me into wearing it.  She even tried to get me to wear an n95, saying....I want to see this on you.  I told her I failed the fit test and it didn't fit.  She then called my manager saying I refused to wear the mask and refused to work on the unit.  I told her I would work anywhere else they needed me, but physically could not handle wearing the hood.  So, I was placed on another unit, but basically threatened that I needed to get a doctor's note and I had to sign a write up about what happened.  I am sick about this whole thing.....especially since there was no regard for my safety and now I'm being punished.  I have never had a panic attack before and I have no trouble working with contagious patients, but I can't put up with being bullied into risking my own health and well-being.  Has anyone else had a similar experience?  Any advice on where to go from here?  Then ironically, I got a text this morning asking me to come in to work for bonus!  That's after the supervisor said I needed a doctor's not before coming back to work!

NYTramaRN

NYTramaRN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, PACU, ICU, CCU,ED,ENDO. Has 44 years experience. 34 Posts

"Then she called me down to her office". That  alone  shows  you  her mindset, safely  ensconced in  her office, rather than coming up and seeing  the  problem insitu. I pray  you're  working in a  union  hospital, and  have  filed a complaint  with  your  rep. Some  people  are claustrophobic, and  shouldn't be put in a situation that  will jeopardizes them and patient  care.    

guest584920

guest584920

118 Posts

2 minutes ago, NYTramaRN said:

 I pray  you're  working in a  union  hospital, and  have  filed a complaint  with  your  rep. 

I have seen no evidence that supports "union hospitals" are any better managed or supplied. I wonder if runner502 works in a unionized facility. 

runner502

runner502

160 Posts

Unfortunately I don't work in a union hospital.

NYTramaRN

NYTramaRN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, PACU, ICU, CCU,ED,ENDO. Has 44 years experience. 34 Posts

1 minute ago, DaveMHA-RN said:

I have seen no evidence that supports "union hospitals" are any better managed or supplied. I wonder if runner502 works in a unionized facility. 

This is  true, however,  harassments  of  staff is  brought  to  the attention  of the  CNO in  union  hospitals:  that  requires  an investigation and  a reply( at  least  in 1199 facilities, YMMV) Supplies, well that's on the hospital,  the union  doesn't  make their budget. Happily my facility  had supplies in depth and  we  never  went  without. Though several nurses  took time off for  mask associated  problems.

runner502

runner502

160 Posts

14 minutes ago, NYTramaRN said:

"Then she called me down to her office". That  alone  shows  you  her mindset, safely  ensconced in  her office, rather than coming up and seeing  the  problem insitu. I pray  you're  working in a  union  hospital, and  have  filed a complaint  with  your  rep. Some  people  are claustrophobic, and  shouldn't be put in a situation that  will jeopardizes them and patient  care.    

Unfortunately it's not a union hospital.  My manager actually messaged me this morning to see if I would come in to work another floor for bonus!  This is after they told me to get a note first.  I messaged her back asking to speak with her as soon as she can to discuss what happened and how poorly things were handled.  She hasn't responded, but I'm supposed to work tomorrow.  I don't fault her because she just started in the position as manager and now we have no director.  I really do like her but I know she is in a difficult position herself.

Any advice on what I can do?

 

NYTramaRN

NYTramaRN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, PACU, ICU, CCU,ED,ENDO. Has 44 years experience. 34 Posts

2 minutes ago, runner502 said:

Unfortunately I don't work in a union hospital.

Sorry to hear that, hope you can come  to a successful resolution of this  issue.  Your  Supervisor  as a  nurse  should recognize  that  some  people  can  be claustrophobic wearing a hood. There's no way  you're at  fault  for  any of  this.

runner502

runner502

160 Posts

Thanks for the support.  I just hope one of my doctors will be willing to write a note stating that I am unable to wear the papr or what would be better if they just excused me to my chronic condition that weakens my immune system.  I never know how doctors feel about doing this due to making them accountable.

 

NYTramaRN

NYTramaRN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, PACU, ICU, CCU,ED,ENDO. Has 44 years experience. 34 Posts

3 minutes ago, runner502 said:

Unfortunately it's not a union hospital.  My manager actually messaged me this morning to see if I would come in to work another floor for bonus!  This is after they told me to get a note first.  I messaged her back asking to speak with her as soon as she can to discuss what happened and how poorly things were handled.  She hasn't responded, but I'm supposed to work tomorrow.  I don't fault her because she just started in the position as manager and now we have no director.  I really do like her but I know she is in a difficult position herself.

Any advice on what I can do?

 

SMH: really, really, come  in to work for  bonus  money LOL! Seriously, politely  tell her you had no idea  you we're claustrophobic  wearing a  hood, and that you  should  be  given the  benefit  of the  doubt as  you  weren't  refusing to work, just refusing to work where  you couldn't  be adequately  protect  from a contagious disease.  If  she's the  least  bit  fair-minded  she'll understand.

runner502

runner502

160 Posts

I hope you're right.  I don't want to go drawing attention to myself but I feel that I am an easy target as someone to be bullied/intimidated due to my size and that if I don't do something....this will happen again in some other form. The new manager is definitely not like this, but we also have a fairly new CNO who I never see and a new CEO who I also never see.  I know they recently suspended staff including a charge nurse.  This employee should have been suspended or let go 2 years ago when she started, so I think this new CNO isn't going to put up with much.

NYTramaRN

NYTramaRN, RN

Specializes in Med/Surg, PACU, ICU, CCU,ED,ENDO. Has 44 years experience. 34 Posts

Let me know how it plays out.

Anne36

Anne36, LPN

1,360 Posts

I hope it works out for you. I work in LTC and we do not have any Covid but have been ordered to wear N95 masks ever since our facility got a stockpile back in September. It's very hard to wear a tight fitting facemask and shield all shift. Compliance is not 100%. Luckily we have not had anyone sick or die of Covid.