Being a health care worker has a whole host of safety risks, now more than ever. Not only do health care workers have to worry about coronavirus, they still have to be careful regarding things like overexertion, falls etc. Health care workers are no stranger to difficult and stressful times. When it comes to a health crisis, you should know what measures to take and what hospital rules to follow in order to protect yourself and your health.
During this crisis, it’s not only you who is at risk though, you also care for several groups at risk, so it is crucial that you help decrease the spread of the virus. So how do you do this? Naturally, there are a few questions that you might be asking yourself. Things like how can I keep myself safe, how can I keep my patients safe? There is probably a lot going through your mind but keeping safe and calm should always be your top priority.
Tell Your Employer if you’ve Visited a High-Risk Area Recently
This is a really important thing. At first, people were only considered at risk if they visited high-risk areas, which at the start was just restricted to China and Italy. But, due to the wider spread, coronavirus has taken on a new status, and high-risk areas are now considered globally. You can check out the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) for more information on this if you would like.
Obviously now, as time has progressed, you shouldn’t have travelled to any high-risk areas. However, it’s still important to let your employers know who you have been in contact with, particularly if they become ill. If you are then told to stay at home, or self-isolate (just to double check that you yourself don’t have it), then you should make sure to follow procedure, even if you have concerns about your job or salary. You have nothing to worry about though, as the important thing is to stay at home and keep safe if needs be.
Wear a Facemask
This one should be really obvious but wearing a facemask can be a great help. This use to apply mainly to people who were currently sick, however, now it is recommended that everyone should be wearing a facemask. To protect against coronavirus, the CDC recommends that health care workers wear a N95 mask, or something similar to this Surgical Mask Canada has to offer. These masks should filter out airborne particles and tiny droplets that may have been coughed up by patients.
If your employers choose to provide you with these, then they are legally required to provide you with training on how to use and how to maintain them. Incorrect use basically just renders the masks as useless, so you need to make sure that you know how to correctly handle them, for optimal effect. If you do not, then you will not be using them to your advantage, and this can cause a whole host of problems. Something which you should be wanting to avoid.
Handle Risk Patients with Extensive Care
If your job means that you have to handle high risk patients (people who meet the criteria or is a suspect for coronavirus), then the CDC suggests that standard contact and airborne precautions should be maintained. Your healthcare employer should have a respiratory protection program in place for coronavirus and they should be able to provide you with the correct information for things that you need to know.
As previously mentioned, you should wear facemasks. However, if you are more involved with patients with coronavirus, then you should also use eye protection, gowns and gloves (they should be provided by your employer though). Times are tough now, however if you stay safe and follow the rules, you should be able to limit the spread of coronavirus (something which everyone should all be aiming for).
Make sure you wash your hands, use hand sanitiser as often as you can, and hopefully this will help keep this virus at bay. The important thing though, is that if you notice any symptoms you isolate yourself for as long as needed. Remember the important thing is to stay calm during this time. Don’t rush things, and always make sure to clean up after yourself. These are the top qualities that a health care worker needs. For more information on this though, you can check out this article here.