The novel coronavirus has turned the world on its head. A year ago, who could have predicted that schools would pivot from a traditional school setting to distance learning, that office workers would be working from home, or that everyone would be wearing masks in public? While life has changed for many professionals, others have continued to work in their normal setting throughout the pandemic. Essential workers, such as nurses, have continued their mission of caring for patients. If you have an RN job, you may be concerned about protecting your own health. While the risk of contracting COVID-19 can never be fully eliminated, nurses can take many precautions to stay safe during this pandemic.
Protect Yourself At Work
Nurses must take steps to protect themselves. Without adequate safety measures, nurses risk infecting themselves or spreading infection from patient to patient. Nursing school trains nurses to be careful at all times. For example, people working RN jobs wash their hands frequently and wipe down surfaces with disinfecting wipes. These habits prevent nurses from touching a contaminated surface, getting the virus on their hands, then touching their hands to their eyes, nose, or mouth. Nurses will continue these practices during COVID-19 but will also take further precautions.
One type of extra precaution is Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), a critical barrier between the nurse and the patient. Many nurses will wear double exam gloves to keep the virus off of their hands. Nurses will also wear a face mask for respiratory protection. Depending on what is available, the mask may be a surgical mask, an N95 mask, or a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR). Face shields are another type of PPE that protect the mucus membranes, including the eyes and nose, from coronavirus particles. Face shields protect nurses from patients who may cough or sneeze virus particles into the air. A mask protects the mouth and nose, a shield protects the eyes. Nurses may also wear a full-body gown known as an isolation gown that offers a high level of protection from the virus.
Protect Your Family At Home
Nurses may worry about bringing the virus home to their families. To protect family members from the coronavirus, nurses should follow safety procedures as soon as they get home. Nurses should remind their family members not to touch them when they first get home. Shoes, purses, or any other work bags should stay outside. Consider designating a specific spot in the garage or porch for work items. Work clothes should go right into the laundry or into a sealed bag. Nurses should shower immediately after coming home. While these steps might feel stringent at first, they will quickly become a habit. These steps minimize the chance of contaminating the home with coronavirus.
Nurses Need Self-Care
Working RN jobs during a global pandemic can be extremely stressful. Nurses should prioritize sleep, especially after a long shift. Set aside time for self-care. Identify self-care strategies that work for you, such as meditation, yoga, or a hot bath. Check-in with the news, but don’t obsess over it. Too much negative news can cause added stress. Make the time to implement these measures to preserve your mental health.
Working an RN job during the COVID-19 pandemic can be stressful but rewarding. If you are searching for “RN jobs near me, ” reach out to CynaMed. Whether you are looking for temporary, full-time, or part-time work, we can find the right registered nurse placement for you.