One of the biggest concerns we hear from doctors and other clinical providers is the worry that they will inadvertently expose their families to the COVID-19 virus. The current spike in daily infections gives credence to this concern. This article will provide you with tips to help keep your family safer as you care for patients during the pandemic.
American Medical Association Recommendations for Disinfection
The Chicago Tribune reports, “Home should be a refuge. But for people reporting to a hospital or clinic during the coronavirus crisis, home is just one more place to dread.” The COVID-19 virus has impacted so many things that we used to take for granted, including having a hug from your child when you come home from work.
If you’re wondering what precautions to take before coming home, you are not alone. Social media is full of videos of doctors waving to their families through the window to their homes as they conduct their cleaning disinfection routine before coming inside. The AMA sought to address these concerns on their website, by posting several suggestions for clinical teams, including:
- Taking appropriate precautions before you even leave work. This means using appropriate precautions when treating patients. Is your facility following effective screening protocols by checking patients for fever or respiratory illness before they come into the clinic? Moving these patients into an appropriate separate location within your facility for treatment is a critical measure for virus containment.
- Using telehealth technology whenever possible to reduce unnecessary exposure to the virus. If the patient is physically seen, the facility must follow infection protocols to reduce risk.
- Wearing PPEs, washing your hands, and avoiding touching your face, all remain important. While healthcare providers should be fully cognizant of these rules, they are worth reiterating because they are one of the most important things you can do to protect your family.
- When you arrive home, it isn’t necessary to spray yourself down with disinfectant. Many providers are changing their clothes upon arriving home and taking a shower. It’s also a good idea to not share eating utensils or allow family members to drink after you—just in case.
As COVID-19 continues to spike this summer, social distancing is still an effective measure, along with wearing masks when in contact with others. The AMA says, “it is important not to separate ourselves completely from our families.” It’s not only not necessary, but they suggest it is also bad for your mental health. Medical Economics agrees and suggests talking with your families about infection control measures as well as discussing the current situation are important ways to help alleviate your stress and the worry your families may be feeling these days.
The worry of infecting your family is just one more concern in a long list of COVID-19 stressors. Our healthcare workers remain on the frontlines of this illness, and they continue to bear the brunt of the worries associated with the pandemic. UHC Solutions would like to extend our gratitude to those on the front lines. Stay safe this summer.