Oh, the things we'll do when the pandemic is over! Don't we all have a post-COVID bucket list? The people we'll see, the places we'll go to, and all the adventures we'll have. So we can start with that long and growing list of people and events we've been waiting to celebrate appropriately! But for our healthcare workers, these new normal bucket lists will have to wait a little longer and are replaced by a couple of must-haves instead.
Our healthcare workers have had to adapt to the ever-changing demands of the pandemic. Still, other healthcare agency workers have had the additional challenge of caring for people in the home. This setting may not be adequately disinfected and may have residents who have not followed isolation guidelines properly. Many of these workers are floating from home to home, place to place, job to job, and do not have one steady patient but pick up work where needed. Some help clients with daily tasks, like eating and bathing, and run errands on their behalf, putting themselves and their clients at risk of contracting coronavirus at grocery stores, pharmacies, and other public spaces. This puts them at a higher risk for viral and bacterial transmission and leaves them more vulnerable to a much higher exposure rate to COVID-19.
With this, healthcare workers are being called on to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines on infection control practices that minimize their risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19, including using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)— the new normal must-have. This PPE include the following:
Face Shields are an alternative to goggles. As opposed to it, a face shield can protect other facial areas. A face shield should have crown and chin protection and wrap around the face to the point of the ear, which reduces the likelihood that a splash could go around the edge of the shield and reach the eyes, to provide better face and eye protection from splashes and sprays.
Masks fully cover the nose and mouth and prevent fluid penetration. Therefore, it should fit snuggly over the nose and mouth. For this reason, masks that have a flexible nose piece and can be secured to the head with string ties or elastic are preferable.
A respirator is a personal protective device worn on the face or head and covers the nose and mouth. This reduces the wearer's risk of inhaling hazardous airborne particles, gases, or vapors. The most commonly used respirators in healthcare settings are the N95, N99, or N100 particulate respirators. The device has a sub-micron filter capable of excluding particles that are less than 5 microns in diameter.
A gown protects wearers from the spread of infection or illness if the wearer comes in contact with potentially infectious liquid and solid material. Wearers may also use them to help prevent transferring microorganisms that could harm vulnerable patients. However, surgical/isolation gowns do not provide continuous whole-body protection because they have possible back openings and typically cover mid-calf only.
Coveralls provide 360-degree protection that covers your entire body, as well as other clothing, to protect you from dirt and other contaminants. They often have sleeves, full leggings, and a hood that covers the head.
For a COVID-free agency, an agency should secure to have the COVID-19 Emergency Management Poster to educate on preventive measures not only for healthcare workers but also for patients and folks.
This poster on Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) includes elements mandated by CMS on February 2020 for Appendix Z (SOM) health providers. On durable vinyl banner material. The poster dimension is approximately 38 W X 48 H Inches.
We're all aware that the appropriate use of all these PPEs is a very effective tool in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Still, it's only one element in a complete safety program that would use various strategies to maintain a safe and healthy workplace. By this, we mean we still need regular handwashing, physical distancing, indoor ventilation, and even regular training.
With this, GooZam steps up to be the one-stop go-to for all home healthcare agency needs, starting from PPEs, compliance posters, and even short courses that keep you up to date with the latest information and industry best practices. In addition, we are putting in place essential measures to protect your employees and ensure business continuity. Aside from affordability and access, quality is a non-negotiable element. All these we offer at the GooZam Store.
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