What did you do when they said you can’t wear your own mask?

by Florence NightinFAIL Florence NightinFAIL, BSN, RN Member Nurse

Specializes in New PACU RN. Has 11 years experience.


Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion. Has 45 years experience. 11 Articles; 17,422 Posts

Tell your Administration to read the Joint Commission's 4/1/2020 statement, email/hand them a copy if unaware:

The Joint Commission issues statement supporting use of personal face masks provided from home amid COVID-19 pandemic



In a statement issued March 31, The Joint Commission announced that it supports allowing health care staff to bring their own standard face masks or respirators to wear at work when their health care organizations cannot routinely provide access to protective equipment that is commensurate with the risk to which they are exposed.

In taking this position, The Joint Commission recognizes:

  • Hospitals must conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) when these items are in short supply to protect staff who perform high-risk procedures.
  • The degree to which privately-owned masks and respirators will increase the protection of health care workers is uncertain, but the balance of evidence suggests that it is positive.
  • No Joint Commission standards or other requirements prohibit staff from using PPE brought from home.
  • Homemade masks are an extreme measure and should be used only when standard PPE of proven protective value is unavailable.

https://www.jointcommission.org/search/#q=homemade masks&t=_Tab_All&sort=relevancy&f:_SitesOrganizations=[The Joint Commission]



Has 1 years experience. 1 Post

My concern is being told you have to wear the cloth masks doled out to you in a paper bag. You wear it for your 8-16 hour shift , then it goes in a bin to be mass washed and dried with every one else’s.
Your next day to work you are given another mask not the one you originally got. You get the one they give you.
I feel this is unsanitary, even though they were all “washed”. How do we know that all the mucous dried or not has been thoroughly cleaned from those masks others have worn.
is it a situation ..... if you don’t see it it’s OK? I’m more comfortable bringing and wearing my own personal mask.
Unless you can prove to me by testing for ecoli, bacteria or virus, isn’t present I will refuse to wear shared masks. My health is more important.
To me it’s like saying here’s your underwear for your shift when you’re done place them in the bin we will wash and dry them and you will get another pair next time.
Well we all know of the visible stains on underwear. Just because you can’t see anything hopefully in a mask doesn’t meant there’s not something still there after washing and drying.
There just isn’t enough testing to convince me to wear shared masks.