Coronavirus Best Practices: How nurses and nursing assistants can keep themselves and patients safe

Coronavirus best practices at IntelyCare

COVID-19 (commonly referred to as the novel coronavirus) has become a significant public health concern that is now impacting post-acute communities across the US. Thankfully, no known cases of COVID-19 have been found at any of our partnered facilities at this time.

We have been closely monitoring both the news and the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine (AMDA).

With those recommendations in mind, we are actively developing a dynamic COVID-19 Best Practices Training in our app to keep you up to date on safe COVID-19 prevention and treatment practices. We anticipate that this course will be available to IntelyPros as of Wednesday, March 11. This training will also be available to the general public later this month.

While we roll out this course, we will do our best to keep you updated on current best practices so that you can keep yourself and your patients safe.

We have outlined some key tips that you should keep in mind when working at any long-term care facility…

HOW COVID-19 SPREADS

Based on what is currently known about COVID-19 and what is known about other coronaviruses, the spread is thought to occur mostly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets among close contacts.

Close contact can occur while caring for a patient, including:

  • being within approximately 6 feet of a patient with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.
  • having direct contact with infectious secretions from a patient with COVID-19. Infectious secretions may include sputum, serum, blood, and respiratory droplets.

If close contact occurs while not wearing all recommended Personal Protection Equipment (PPE,) healthcare personnel may be at risk of infection.

HOW YOU CAN PROTECT YOURSELF

Stay informed.

Keep up to date with current guidelines. We will be sending out new information as we learn more about COVID-19, and will be launching our COVID-19 Best Practices Assessment to IntelyPros on March 11, 2020. But in the interim, we recommend the CDC as your go-to resource for all COVID-19 best practice information.

Practice and encourage proper hygiene and infection control.

The CDC recommends that you practice proper hand and respiratory hygiene, and encourage cough etiquette among residents, visitors, and colleagues. We also encourage looking into Infection Prevention Training, if you have not already done so.

Be prepared.

While no known cases of COVID-19 have been detected in any of our partnered facilities at this time, as a health care professional, you are on the front lines of caring for patients and have an increased risk for exposure. We recommend reading this article from the CDC in the event that COVID-19 does appear at your facility: What Healthcare Personnel Should Know About Caring for Patients with Confirmed or Possible COVID-19 Infection.

Be compliant.

While the above tips are commonly agreed-upon best practices, please be aware that each nursing facility may have its own COVID-19 contingent plans in place. Please be sure to comply with any facility-specific COVID-19 guidelines. You may also find that some facilities will monitor health care staff for COVID-19 symptoms upon arrival. If a facility determines that you are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, you may be sent home.

Don’t take a chance.

If you are currently experiencing or have experienced a fever, cough, and/or shortness of breath in the last 14 days, we strongly encourage you to not report to work. If you are experiencing these symptoms, please let the IntelyCare team know and refrain from picking up future shifts. Safety is our chief priority. If you call us before a shift and let us know you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, we will release you from the shift without penalty.

Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we anticipate that the CDC and AMDA will continue to update their recommendations, so we will be sure to share COVID-19 best practices with you as new recommendations emerge.

Does your facility need help with your staffing needs? Request a demo with a member of our sales team for a walk-through of our intelligent solution.

IntelyCare was created by nurses, for nurses. We’re here to take care of those who take care of everyone else; our staffing solution gives nurses the opportunity for a better, more flexible schedule to help reduce nurse stress. Apply today to join the future of nursing.

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If you are a nurse or nursing assistant looking to join our network of nursing professionals, please visit our IntelyPro Application.

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