With the current surge in Covid cases, it’s important that healthcare workers are aware of and use a range of personal protective equipment. This not only provides protection for those who work in healthcare but also for the patients they’re dealing with.
The use of PPE also helps to prevent the risk of spreading the disease within the community. There is a variety of different PPE available to healthcare workers and it is advised that these are used extensively, especially when dealing with people who have tested positive for the virus or who may be presenting with symptoms.
Isolation Gowns provide protection for healthcare workers from shoulder to below the knee. They are lightweight and ideal for those working in infection control in hospitals, aged care facilities, nursing homes, and community care.
These disposable isolation gowns are designed to protect both exposed skin and clothing from coming into contact with the virus. Like all PPE, they should be replaced regularly and disposed of safely after use. Each healthcare environment will have its own infection control policies which should be abided by.
Medical Face Shields And Masks
The Australian government currently recommends that all healthcare facilities should give surgical masks to any patients who are being tested for Covid, who are confirmed as having the disease, or who are displaying symptoms of the disease.
It’s also highly recommended that all healthcare staff whether they deal with patients, work in administration, or are engaged in other duties such as cleaning, also wear surgical masks at all times. This not only protects the staff but also the patients or people who are receiving care.
Healthcare workers in hospitals, aged care facilities, and other medical facilities also have the choice to wear either P2 respirator masks or N95 masks or complete face shields. Respirator masks make mask-wearing more comfortable and also may protect the wearer from inhaling infectious particulates.
Face shields may be particularly recommended for use in hospitals or facilities where patients are presenting with symptoms of Covid as they help to protect all the mucous membranes of the face including the mouth, nose, and eyes.
Medical And Surgical Gloves
Medical and surgical gloves provide effective protection for healthcare workers and should be used at all times. This applies to those working in medical facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and aged care facilities as well as those who provide home care to patients and elderly people.
Of course, it goes without saying that these gloves should be replaced regularly in between patients and disposed of safely after use.
Shoe covers are another important piece of protective equipment that healthcare workers should ensure that they have on hand and use on a regular basis. This is especially important for those who work in hospitals, nursing homes, and aged care facilities as these covers help to provide excellent contamination protection.
With the new surge in Covid cases, it’s important that healthcare workers use PPE regularly and effectively to protect themselves from infection and to keep their families safe.
An important tip to remember is that after you’ve taken off your PPE, as per your facility’s infection control procedures, and disposed of it carefully, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.
Photo by Anna Shvets: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-blue-dress-shirt-wearing-blue-mask-and-white-latex-gloves-4586984/