In order to keep yourself, your colleagues and your patients safe we have compiled a list of procedures and precautionary measures that you can implement.
There are three principal modes of virus spread:
Disinfect the working space
Effective and strict disinfection measures in both work areas and public areas should be rolled out. The workplace should be cleaned and disinfected regularly in accordance with current safety protocols, as should the public areas and appliances, including door handles, chairs, desks and pens.
Due to the very fact that patients are ill, it is advisable to screen if they have had confirmed contact with persons with Covid-19. Regular staff self-screening is also encouraged to prevent spread of SARS CoV-2 in the early stages of infection. Visitor’s to laboratories like service engineers are required to adhere to the facility policies and should also be screened before entering the premises. Use a standardised structured questionnaire, also including the measurement of body temperature and then taking adequate steps to address the results. It is strongly recommended that a contact-free infra-red forehead thermometer be used.
The following set of screening questions can help identify potential infection. This list is not exhaustive, and should be adapted to suit your needs, in keeping with current research and guidelines:
Following the screening questionnaire:
Regular handwashing with soap is advised. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may also be used to augment the hand hygiene regimes. Before and after working with any patients, hands must be washed/sanitized.
NOTE: Everyone should take extra care to avoid touching their own eyes, mouths and noses.
The following protective measures are recommended:
Waste, including disposable PPE, should be regarded as infectious medical waste and should be appropriately and timeously discarded. Refer to the Department of Health Practical Manual for Implementation of the National Infection Prevention and Control Strategic Framework.
The laboratory, workspaces, procedure rooms and other facilities, such as waiting rooms, should be adequately ventilated. Whilst the use of air conditioning is discouraged, but should they be a necessity then approved hospital-quality multi filtration systems (a filtration system that includes a prefilter, true HEPA filter, carbon filter and a UV-C light) should be sourced and regularly changed.
At all times, medical personnel are to work in a safe and ethical manner. Extend confidentiality to fellow co-workers as far as possible to prevent the emotional trauma of stigmatization and isolation. The Lockdown, due to Covid-19, has had a major financial impact on many people as well as anxiety-inducing fears. If the employer does not have a Wellness programme any person may make use of the below resources: