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Practices for Healthcare Staff’s Personal Safety

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic presents a significant public health challenge. Stakeholders have highlighted prevention as the mainstay of controlling the disease. Consequently, the health institution I work in adopted several strategies to prevent infection among the healthcare staff, patients, and the public. For instance, at the outpatient department where I am stationed, the management has limited public traffic to decrease the chances of spreading COVID-19 infection. Moreover, the management requires that patients and their families don surgical masks when seeking healthcare services. Therefore, prevention is imperative to control COVID-19, which is currently an issue of concern.

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The utilization of Personal protective equipment (PPE) is a critical component in the COVID-19 prevention strategy. For instance, Thomas et al. (2020) highlighted the recommendation of using respirator masks, disposable surgical gowns, and facial or eye protection when working in high-risk areas with aerosol generation. Moreover, the guidelines recommend healthcare providers use surgical facemasks, disposable plastic aprons, disposable gloves, and facial shields in risk areas not involving aerosol generation. Moreover, MacIntyre and Chughtai (2020) suggest that universal mask use and handwashing in the community is a practical approach to interrupting the transmission of COVID-19. Furthermore, the review finds that healthcare workers need to continuously utilize respirator masks to contain the spread of COVID-19 effectively. Therefore, PPE and hand hygiene help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Adherence to preventive guidelines is essential to control COVID-19. However, the outpatient department that I work in lacks standard approaches to using PPE. For instance, all healthcare staff utilizes surgical masks and plastic aprons regardless of the clinical situation. Moreover, some patients and companions use surgical masks while others use clot masks. Consequently, the preparedness to combat COVID-19 is inadequate. Therefore, it is essential to investigate non-compliance to the standard preventive measures to mitigate COVID-19.

References

MacIntyre, C. R., & Chughtai, A. A. (2020). A rapid systematic review of the efficacy of face masks and respirators against coronaviruses and other respiratory transmissible viruses for the community, healthcare workers and sick patients. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 108, 103629. Web.

Thomas, J. P., Srinivasan, A., Wickramarachchi, C. S., Dhesi, P. K., Hung, Y. M., & Kamath, A. V. (2020). Evaluating the national PPE guidance for NHS healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Medicine, 20(3), 242–247. Web.

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