Frontline healthcare workers such as nurses and doctors constantly put their lives at risk fighting against the Coronavirus. They are facing the fear of being exposed to COVID-19 and infecting their family members, working long and tiresome hours while dealing with inadequate PPE(personal protective equipment).
However, despite this, they are still protecting and caring for the public every day across the world.
That said, as the COVID-19 pandemic slowly spreads across the globe and governments struggle to put strategies into effect to contain it, healthcare workers are finding it difficult to look after their wellbeing and stay safe in the process. A
lthough the CDC provides resources and guidelines to such frontline healthcare workers; they still run the risk of being consumed by the pandemic. With that in mind, if you’re a healthcare worker facing the same dilemma, then this article is for you.
Here are some ways you can protect yourself against various infections.
Use PPE(personal protective equipment).
Your PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) helps create a barrier between you and the germs, bacteria, and COVID-19 particles while dealing with patients. It achieves this by limiting or eliminating physical touch, reducing your chances of coming in contact with infected patients.
However, there are various kinds of PPE, depending on the department you work in. For instance, if you work in your healthcare facilities’ isolation ward, you will have to cover yourself from head to toe with PPE to limit physical contact.
Likewise, if you’re working in a general ward, an N-95 mask should suffice. In addition, don’t forget to follow the instructions and guidelines that come with your specific PPE to ensure effectiveness.
Wear disposable masks, gloves, gowns, etc.
Besides a full PPE uniform, healthcare workers can buy wholesale medical isolation gowns and masks to prevent sharing with other medical personnel. Doing so will further limit the chances of cross-contamination.
However, despite wearing gloves, you will come in contact with contaminated surfaces. So, it is a no-brainer to dispose of them safely and correctly.
COVID-19 usually spreads via air and water droplets, and these droplets are introduced into the environment whenever someone suspected of being COVID-19 positive sneezes, talks, or coughs in a closed space.
However, to ensure you don’t come in contact with these air and water droplets, it is wise to wear surgical masks at all times.
As far as isolation gowns are concerned, they usually come with self-explanatory instructions. So, wear them whenever you’re at work and throw them away when you’re done! Wearing them isolates you from COVID-19 and other infectious diseases.
Wash your hands carefully and frequently.
It would be best if you never underestimate the power of washing your hands regularly, especially when it comes to preventing the COVID-19 infection. So, before you go to work, apply soap to your hands, and rub them together for at least 20 seconds. Then wash them with warm running water.
Ensure that you rub under your fingernails, between your fingers, and apply soap till the end of your wrists. Plus, use antiviral or antibacterial soap to wash your hands. Now when you’re at work, follow this routine whenever you interact with somebody, whether patients or fellow healthcare workers, to ensure you remain Covid-free.
Know what to do if you have to isolate yourself.
If you end up contracting COVID-19, the best thing to do here is to isolate yourself until you get better. While you have to limit physical interactions, that doesn’t mean you cannot keep in touch with the outside world.
That said, if you end up in isolation, you have to inform yourself that you need to take extra precautions and ensure that no one else comes in physical contact with you while you’re in isolation.
For example, during your time in isolation, communicate with your family, friends, or loved ones via phone or video call. Doing so will allow you to remain sane and preserve your mental health.
After all, isolation will eventually take a toll on your mind. So, use this time to contemplate your personal and work-related goals so you can return to the outside world invigorated and revived.
Control what you can.
When a situation is unclear to you, you will probably feel anxious. However, the best thing to do here is to search for ways to regain control of the situation. For instance, if you’re constantly looking at social media content, it isn’t something under your control, hence a waste of time.
Instead, if you seek accurate COVID-19 -related information (something under your control), you can always go to reliable resources, such as the CDC, for such information.
Moreover, consider improving upon your coping skills. These include doing things you enjoy, helping others, switching off, reaching out, and much more. After all, during such testing times, keeping ourselves busy will enable us to maintain our mental and physical health.
In the end, the onus is on us to control our attitudes and prepare as best as we can for what is to come in the future.
One of the biggest challenges that frontline healthcare workers face is keeping themselves safe from COVID-19 infection. However, by following the latest personal care best practices shared by healthcare organizations and the tips mentioned above, you will surely keep COVID-19 at bay and remain healthy for the foreseeable future.
Plus, you will keep doing what you do best; helping patients heal and recover from illnesses and injuries.