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Old 03-19-2020, 10:25 AM
Buck91 Buck91 is offline
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Default Healthcare workers' PPE



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Wasn't really sure where to post this but since its health related I landed here. Mods, please feel free to move this if you feel another forum is more appropriate.

My wife and I are both frontline healthcare workers and work in urban/suburban emergency rooms in the US. Our company has been aggressively addressing the changing necessities of the pending COVID-19 pandemic (yes, its a pandemic globally but not out of control here yet). As things have changed I have watched the recommended PPE transition from fairly aggressive complete gowning, eye protection and N95/PAPR use to only using N95/PAPR when doing an aersolizing procedure to now N95/PAPR protection only for the single provider doing the aersolization, including during an intubation when only the physician intubating is to be provided an N95.

During this timeframe I have also seen the cleaning guidelines steeply decline including shortages of cleaning products. We also are unable to order any more hand sanitizer at this time.

This is while caseload is still extremely low. We were treating all respiratory patients as potential COVID-19 until proven otherwise but as of last night when I lest we were transitioning into treating ALL patients as potential COVID-19 until cleared due to some issues we were having.

Looking at the decreasing PPE and cleaning guidelines as well as the dwindling supplies before this even hits.... at what point would YOU decide that the job is no longer reasonably safe and to protect yourself and your family instead of going into work? This would likely mean forfeiting your job, possibly your career as I don't know how one would explain that in the future.

I have thought long and hard on this over many years and still I don't have a good answer. On one hand you have to protect your family first but on the other a stable income is also required to do that. Tangentially I don't think I would be able to run and hide from a public health disaster in cowardice short of something happening so profound that I truly believed my involvement was totally futile.
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Old 03-19-2020, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Buck91 View Post
Wasn't really sure where to post this but since its health related I landed here. Mods, please feel free to move this if you feel another forum is more appropriate.

My wife and I are both frontline healthcare workers and work in urban/suburban emergency rooms in the US. Our company has been aggressively addressing the changing necessities of the pending COVID-19 pandemic (yes, its a pandemic globally but not out of control here yet). As things have changed I have watched the recommended PPE transition from fairly aggressive complete gowning, eye protection and N95/PAPR use to only using N95/PAPR when doing an aersolizing procedure to now N95/PAPR protection only for the single provider doing the aersolization, including during an intubation when only the physician intubating is to be provided an N95.

During this timeframe I have also seen the cleaning guidelines steeply decline including shortages of cleaning products. We also are unable to order any more hand sanitizer at this time.

This is while caseload is still extremely low. We were treating all respiratory patients as potential COVID-19 until proven otherwise but as of last night when I lest we were transitioning into treating ALL patients as potential COVID-19 until cleared due to some issues we were having.

Looking at the decreasing PPE and cleaning guidelines as well as the dwindling supplies before this even hits.... at what point would YOU decide that the job is no longer reasonably safe and to protect yourself and your family instead of going into work? This would likely mean forfeiting your job, possibly your career as I don't know how one would explain that in the future.

I have thought long and hard on this over many years and still I don't have a good answer. On one hand you have to protect your family first but on the other a stable income is also required to do that. Tangentially I don't think I would be able to run and hide from a public health disaster in cowardice short of something happening so profound that I truly believed my involvement was totally futile.
This is about the third or fourth post asking this exact question.

I asked it myself a couple months ago when this was just getting going.

Never really came up with an answer. (I'm an EMT)

Still trying to figure it out. I guess I will take it day by day. 1/3rd of the department has backed off going on calls so far.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:10 PM
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I posted yesterday that I'm a new nurse that just started working in a hospital. What timing, right? Anyway. I have asked that many times. I'm still on orientation so I have a preceptor. I feel like I'm wasting resources when we both need to go into a room.

The supply man was counting our mask stock when I was there on Monday. We don't even have any cases at that hospital, yet. Unless that one in that county happens to be there that I saw this morning.

I have talked with my husband about it as well a little bit. I don't think I (or any nurses/doctors/etc.) should put their lives at risk because we don't have the proper PPE.

If I were to get sick, I can take off 14 days and use PPO. I have no PPO because I just started. If I were to quit, it may be difficult to find another job given the circumstances. So where does that leave me? Wait until this pandemic is over? I got bills to pay :-/ are bills more important than my life/my SOs life - who is in the high risk group.
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Old 03-19-2020, 02:36 PM
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My wife is a home health, nurses aid. She told me today her company is NOT providing more latex/nitrile gloves.
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Old 03-19-2020, 04:40 PM
Buck91 Buck91 is offline
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I *think* my hard stop is when basic BSI/PPE is no longer available including hand hygiene products such as either soap or sanitizer. Again, though, it is a choice between a career and keeping a roof over my family and the alternative... I fear if we hit my hard stop it will (at least potentially) be too late.
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:16 PM
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Were almost out of mask at work
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Old 03-23-2020, 02:58 PM
BCseacow83 BCseacow83 is offline
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In healthcare, we have entered into an unspoken agreement. We know we risk our health when dealing with certain patients but we are to be protected when doing so. We are not the only profession that risks health in order to practice our trade.

No one would expect police or military to function without their defensive weapons correct? No soldier goes into battle without a rifle(russian WW2 soldier at Stalingrad exempt of course.) So do we expect health care to do so???

No amount of money replaces a life, period. Military, fire, police all receive death benefits, healthcare DO NOT. No amount of money replaces a lost love one but ZERO dollars do not either.

Do we as health care workers mindlessly charge the pillbox across the battlefield unarmed??? We signed up to fight disease with certain tools at our disposal, did we sign up to do so absent those tools????

I DO NOT KNOW.
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Old 03-23-2020, 04:50 PM
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I have my full face respirator at work. They get mad at me when I wear it but they can't do anything to me for wearing it.
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Old 03-23-2020, 06:09 PM
bumpedmyhead bumpedmyhead is offline
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I have my full face respirator at work. They get mad at me when I wear it but they can't do anything to me for wearing it.
They demoted my fiance , a Charge RN, for insubordination, last Wednesday. She refused to remove her n95, a personal one from home, around suspect patients. She, of course, is fighting with a grievance. Less than a week later, she is with even more suspect patients, and hasnt been asked to remove her mask. Total bs job by a new unit Director on a power trip.

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Old 03-23-2020, 08:11 PM
Exarmyguy Exarmyguy is offline
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I'm in maintenance. If they push it I will stay home.
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Old 03-23-2020, 10:10 PM
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I'm pretty sure that anyone with any kind of healthcare license who wants a job will be able to get one in the current situation.

I know in my area they are calling for any retired nurses, doctors or EMTs who don't currently have a job to show up and apply for one at the local hospitals.
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Old 03-24-2020, 07:41 AM
bumpedmyhead bumpedmyhead is offline
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I'm pretty sure that anyone with any kind of healthcare license who wants a job will be able to get one in the current situation.



I know in my area they are calling for any retired nurses, doctors or EMTs who don't currently have a job to show up and apply for one at the local hospitals.
You are somewhat correct. She has a multi-state compact license, covers about 30 states. Some of the current issues are travel restrictions, traveler quarantine orders, shelter in place orders, and hotel/extended stay sutes are closing. Also, grocery and resturant problems. We cant haul 13-15 weeks of food with us. Airbnbs are taking advantage of the crisis, and charging double for hcp's. To insure a consistent pay flow, we will probably just stay here, and deal with mgt issues as they roll.

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Old 03-24-2020, 12:32 PM
PurpleKitty PurpleKitty is online now
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Peter, that is just vile how is she supposed to help with toileting issues? Soiled diapers? Yuck!

--- I do homecare for my husband.

I have considered getting a job at Walmart during this to help out financially but I am almost certainly going to be exposed if I do that, and he is not well.

If it was just me I might but I have him.
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Old 03-27-2020, 02:04 PM
bumpedmyhead bumpedmyhead is offline
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Update to my earlier post. My fiance submitted a 3 page rebuttal on the insubordination charge, filed a complaint with Corporate, and called in a complaint to OSHA. Today, she was called in by the CNO (named in rebuttal and complaints). My fiance WON! I dont have all the details yet, as she is at the hospital working, but, the insubordination for wearing personal ppe was dropped. The disciplanary charge will be removed from her personnell file, and she will remain Charge, albeit on a different unit. Haha! Rat bastards. It was wrong of the new unit director and cno to go after her. She was following cdc, and osha, guidlines. Apparently, the Facilitys Chief Executive Officer agreed! Im sure the extra heat she brought helped. Now, time to bring in NNU. Stay safe out there, and stand your ground!

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Old 03-27-2020, 02:19 PM
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My wife is a home health, nurses aid. She told me today her company is NOT providing more latex/nitrile gloves.
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Originally Posted by PurpleKitty View Post
Peter, that is just vile how is she supposed to help with toileting issues? Soiled diapers? Yuck!
I told my wife of your response. She she'd I had it wrong. Her company will provide latex/nitrile gloves but not masks or disinfectants. Sorry for the wrong information I previously gave.
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