How do doctors and nurses protect themselves from COVID-19?

How do doctors and nurses protect themselves from COVID-19?

Last Reviewed : 12/17/2020
How do doctors and nurses protect themselves from COVID-19?

Healthcare providers risk their lives to save patients from COVID-19. Thousands of healthcare providers tested positive for COVID-19 in the United States while taking care of the affected people. Given the risk of contracting COVID-19, healthcare providers should take stringent precautions to protect themselves and also to protect their families.

American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) published the following checklist for healthcare providers to prevent COVID-19 infection.

  • Review proper donning and doffing.
  • Home practices – designate a place to put clothing from work (preferably right into the washer), where to undress, family protections, wash hands before leaving work, etc.
  • Keep hand sanitizer in the car and by the entry door. Make sure you have easy-to-prepare meals.
  • Stock a two-week supply of food (and possibly water).
  • Ensure you have a continuous supply of regularly needed prescription drugs.
  • Stock up on nonprescription drugs and other health supplies. This includes pain relievers, cough and cold medicines, a thermometer, and vitamins, as well as household supplies, disinfectant and soap.
  • Locate and store copies of personal health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources for personal reference.
  • Have a plan with family members and other loved ones on how they will receive care if they get sick or what will be needed to care for them in your home.
  • Designate a room for any ill family member.
  • Plans for alternate childcare

Social distancing at home: Some healthcare providers, especially who are closely involved in taking care of COVID-19 patients, maintain social distancing even at home. Because of the risk of disease transmission, providers are staying in a separate room at home and avoiding getting closer to the family members.

Using scrubs: Doctors who wear professional attire are now wearing scrubs to avert the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Wearing ties carry additional risk of transmitting infection. Scrubs are easy to remove and wash daily. Several specialists who are used to suits are also wearing scrubs during this pandemic.

Wearing PPE: Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is the key to protect healthcare providers. In some places, due to acute shortage of PPE, CDC recommended to use regular face masks instead of N95 masks. In fact, at one point, CDC recommended to use bandannas or scarfs while taking care of COVID-19 patients. This posed a serious threat to healthcare providers. With more PPE supplies coming from China, the overall situation improved in the United States.

Mindfulness: Meditation is being promoted extensively in all healthcare facilities to prevent stress during this COVID-19 pandemic. Increase in the volume of patients, risk of disease transmission, lack of PPE, and multiple other factors create anxiety and stress among healthcare providers. Meditation is highly recommended to overcome stress during these turbulent times.

Exercise/yoga: Exercise or yoga not only relieves stress but also boosts immunity. Doing regular exercise or yoga is very important to fight against COVID-19.

Healthy balanced diet: Diet is crucial to boost immunity. Trace elements like zinc is proven to help prevent Novel Coronavirus infection. Many other spices like turmeric, garlic and ginger also have antiviral properties that help improve immunity against COVID-19.

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