What is the difference between a Frontliner and an Essential worker?

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Specializes in Med-Surg, Geriatrics, Wound Care. Has 11 years experience.

Cleaning up rooms and areas that have been occupied by ill covid positive patients is definitely front line. There is a lot of exposure in those rooms, touching all of the items covered in fomites.

I do get a bit frustrated because the environmental staff don't necessarily go in the covid positive rooms until discharge lately. So, those rooms don't get as frequent cleaning/mops, it does limit exposure especially since the cleaning staff go into all the patient rooms, so not spreading the disease is important.

Grocery store workers are essential, and can be front line. But, people that go grocery shopping aren't necessarily acutely ill.. There is still exposure, but probably less. 

NightNerd, MSN, RN

1,129 Posts

Specializes in CMSRN, hospice. Has 9 years experience.
On 9/20/2020 at 12:28 AM, DribbleKing97 said:

I talk to a Janitor who works at a local Hospital. She calls himself a Frontliner and such (Not dealing directly with patients) but cleaning their rooms.

 

Then 'I talk to a grocery worker who says they are an essential worker. What is the damn difference? They work to make money thats it.

You sound upset about this. Genuinely not trying to be snarky, but...why?

Specializes in Peds ED. Has 12 years experience.
On 9/20/2020 at 12:28 AM, DribbleKing97 said:

I talk to a Janitor who works at a local Hospital. She calls himself a Frontliner and such (Not dealing directly with patients) but cleaning their rooms.

Then 'I talk to a grocery worker who says they are an essential worker. What is the damn difference? They work to make money thats it.

They work to make money- doing jobs that are essential to the functioning of society during a pandemic. What would you do if you couldn’t go to the grocery store for 6 months? If you had to manage all evs tasks on top of your current duties? 

I don’t think frontline or essential worker are standardized terms but it seems like the difference is potential patient contact versus necessity for basic societal functions, and your comment about them working “to make money thats it” seems incredibly dismissive and disrespectful of you. 

amoLucia

7,735 Posts

Specializes in retired LTC.

Regardless of the terms, they are GODSENDS!

Couple months ago, my air conditioning unit conked out during one of those blistering hot spells here in the Mid-Atlantic. I use resp equip & O2. NO way could I go without my AC.

Fortunately, my regular repair service made an emeg call and within 2 hrs or so, all was well. However, the tech told me, the service had only just RE-OPENED about 2 weeks prior, having closed down to the mandatory C19 shutdowns for 'non-essential' service providers.

Non-essential!?! Baloney!

Under-recognized & under-appreciated until needed!