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COVID-19 and spouses of healthcare workers--anyone want to PM?


kbutton
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I wondered if anyone would like to join a group PM for people whose spouses are healthcare workers. It might be nice to share tips for leaving COVID at work, personally and literally. 

PM me if you are interested. I will try to clean up my inbox just in case.

 

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I am a front-line healthcare worker (my spouse is not, let me know if you'd like me to delete).  I'd rather just post than PM.

Things I'm doing:

Fastidious about PPE and hand hygiene.

Change clothes at the end of shift before going home (I wear hospital-issued scrubs, so this isn't a change for me).

Change out of the clothes I wore to get home from work as soon as I get home, put straight in washing machine, then shower immediately.

Sleeping in a separate room.  Kids are not allowed in there.

No more coffee (or snacks) at the desk at work.

Speaking up when I see co-workers take short-cuts with PPE or other IPAC processes.

Leaving it at work psychologically-speaking is impossible.  There are constant updates, staffing needs are constantly changing.  It's stressful.

 

 

 

 

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Front line health worker here, too, though I have actual uniforms, not scrubs. I’m doing many of the same things wathe is doing.

I do keep coffee, drinks, snacks on my desk at the station. But when I’m on duty I’m the only one using it. 

My station mates and I lysol/take death wipes to all the radios, keyboards, desks, knobology, etc at least twice a day and always at the end of our shifts.

And ditto about me mentally leaving this at work. I can be called into work at any time if I’m off shift and regular hours-worked restrictions have been lifted. 

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You are welcome if you're a healthcare worker too! I just saw more posts from spouses so far than workers.

The only reason for suggesting PM is if people want to be more frank and to keep us from inadvertently freaking out anyone else. 

1 hour ago, wathe said:

I am a front-line healthcare worker (my spouse is not, let me know if you'd like me to delete).  I'd rather just post than PM.

Things I'm doing:

Fastidious about PPE and hand hygiene.

Change clothes at the end of shift before going home (I wear hospital-issued scrubs, so this isn't a change for me).

Change out of the clothes I wore to get home from work as soon as I get home, put straight in washing machine, then shower immediately.

Sleeping in a separate room.  Kids are not allowed in there.

No more coffee (or snacks) at the desk at work.

Speaking up when I see co-workers take short-cuts with PPE or other IPAC processes.

Leaving it at work psychologically-speaking is impossible.  There are constant updates, staffing needs are constantly changing.  It's stressful.

I wish DH had hospital issued scrubs, but he does have the ability to shower and change at work. 

I wondered if I should start sleeping separately. This is a big deal for me as I won't sleep well on other beds in the house (lots of aches and pains), but if DH is quarantined, he really needs the master bed/bath so we can be totally separate. I hope he won't be offended if sleep elsewhere, sigh.

THANK YOU for speaking up to co-workers as needed. DH has some scary stories in that regard, though thankfully it's not the norm.

DH hasn't had a lot of staffing changes yet, but I assume it's coming. They do have an employee out--no idea if it's COVID-19. He can still say yes/no, and I think he'll offer to pick up half the shift if no one steps up. The updates are going to wear on him too. 

Our neighborhood allows for easy social distancing, so I am hoping he can walk, bike, or putter in the yard to de-stress. 

19 minutes ago, brehon said:

Front line health worker here, too, though I have actual uniforms, not scrubs. I’m doing many of the same things wathe is doing.

I do keep coffee, drinks, snacks on my desk at the station. But when I’m on duty I’m the only one using it. 

My station mates and I lysol/take death wipes to all the radios, keyboards, desks, knobology, etc at least twice a day and always at the end of our shifts.

And ditto about me mentally leaving this at work. I can be called into work at any time if I’m off shift and regular hours-worked restrictions have been lifted. 

I should remind my DH about this if he hasn't thought of it already. I think most workstations except for patient registration are shared. 

Thank you both for chiming in.

I am sorry you're both already facing potential call-ins and long hours. 

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I’m not sure if I qualify as a front line health care provider. I’m a social worker in a VA hospital.
It feels like we’re the sacrificial lambs in this whole deal. Very little/leftover PPE and near constant contact with patients. All Lysol, Clorox, gloves, masks, etc... I have are those I brought myself from home. I do use them no matter how anyone else feels about it. I am extremely psychologically taxed right now.
I take my clothes off as soon as I get home and shower. I have a vehicle, hamper, bedroom, and bathroom just for me. I’m not sure what else I can do. I’m a middle aged woman just trying to take care of my clients while not dying in the process. 
 

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Thanks to all of you.  

I appreciate what you are willing to share here publicly.  

And I pray for all of you (and family) to stay safe and well.  

Several family members are in medical fields (parents (older but could be called up), sibling, cousin, uncle, in-law) and I think it is part of why I am so ready to be angry and lose it with the No Big Deal people on these threads.  Which doesn’t do any good.  

I am very afraid for medical people and first responders . 

Sending hugs, thanks, prayers, and wellness wishes. 

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11 minutes ago, Big Buckin' Longhorn said:

I’m not sure if I qualify as a front line health care provider. I’m a social worker in a VA hospital.
It feels like we’re the sacrificial lambs in this whole deal. Very little/leftover PPE and near constant contact with patients. All Lysol, Clorox, gloves, masks, etc... I have are those I brought myself from home. I do use them no matter how anyone else feels about it. I am extremely psychologically taxed right now.
I take my clothes off as soon as I get home and shower. I have a vehicle, hamper, bedroom, and bathroom just for me. I’m not sure what else I can do. I’m a middle aged woman just trying to take care of my clients while not dying in the process. 
 

You count! I can't tell you how much social workers mean to my DH in his job. 

The VA is a challenging environment in good times. Hang in there! Thank you. 

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21 hours ago, kbutton said:

You are welcome if you're a healthcare worker too! I just saw more posts from spouses so far than workers.

The only reason for suggesting PM is if people want to be more frank and to keep us from inadvertently freaking out anyone else.

I for one appreciate the frankness. I think people who are prone to freaking out should stay off the net right now. 

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8 minutes ago, PeterPan said:

Bingo. And Kbutton is high risk with (albeit controlled) asthma. I'd have that spouse in a separate room in a heartbeat. But a hot water bottle to keep your feet warm till this blows over.

My 16 y.o. OFFERED his bed (second nicest in the house) and is sleeping on a mattress in his brother's room until we can get the office/spare room ready. He's awesome. He has a queen bed in his room (a comfy one) on the condition that he vacates for guests. Bonus: his room is almost always tidy and clean--he tidied up what little what out of place yesterday. 

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Dh just started his director position in Jan. Before that he was in scrubs he brought home. I’m hearing a lot but I’m not sure what all I can say so I’ve been sticking with only what I’ve seen already in the news. 

The CDC is recommending all hospitals set up tents outside their ERs to screen people even before they get out of their car. If your hospital doesn’t have a tent outside, it’s most likely been ordered and awaiting delivery.  If someone arrives and presents mild symptoms and can still breathe fine, they are told to go home and self-isolate. Hospitals are only admitting patients presenting with hypoxia or more serious breathing issues. They don’t want to fill the hospitals up with minor cases. They’ll most likely need those beds down the road. 

The White House announced they were able to remove regulation that N95 construction masks can be used in hospitals opening up large orders for hospitals. Another liability issue that needed to be waived is one-time use wording on the masks. When rationing masks, hospitals have been figuring out ways to reuse masks without increasing risk.but they weren’t legally allowed to until regulations were waived, national or state of emergency. 

Hospitals are checking CDC recommendations hourly as they are constantly changing. It sounds like they are learning a lot from Italy.  

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5 minutes ago, kbutton said:

My 16 y.o. OFFERED his bed (second nicest in the house) and is sleeping on a mattress in his brother's room until we can get the office/spare room ready. He's awesome. He has a queen bed in his room (a comfy one) on the condition that he vacates for guests. Bonus: his room is almost always tidy and clean--he tidied up what little what out of place yesterday. 

Awwww so sweet.

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1 minute ago, Plum said:

Dh just started his director position in Jan. Before that he was in scrubs he brought home. I’m hearing a lot but I’m not sure what all I can say so I’ve been sticking with only what I’ve seen already in the news. 

The CDC is recommending all hospitals set up tents outside their ERs to screen people even before they get out of their car. If your hospital doesn’t have a tent outside, it’s most likely been ordered and awaiting delivery.  If someone arrives and presents mild symptoms and can still breathe fine, they are told to go home and self-isolate. Hospitals are only admitting patients presenting with hypoxia or more serious breathing issues. They don’t want to fill the hospitals up with minor cases. They’ll most likely need those beds down the road. 

The White House announced they were able to remove regulation that N95 construction masks can be used in hospitals opening up large orders for hospitals. Another liability issue that needed to be waived is one-time use wording on the masks. When rationing masks, hospitals have been figuring out ways to reuse masks without increasing risk.but they weren’t legally allowed to until regulations were waived, national or state of emergency. 

Hospitals are checking CDC recommendations hourly as they are constantly changing. It sounds like they are learning a lot from Italy.  

My friend is a medical transcriptionist. She works from home.  She and all other work at home people were sent an email this morning by the CEO of the hospital begging for volunteers to screen people before they go into the clinic. She is going to do it.

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3 minutes ago, Plum said:

Dh just started his director position in Jan. Before that he was in scrubs he brought home. I’m hearing a lot but I’m not sure what all I can say so I’ve been sticking with only what I’ve seen already in the news. 

The CDC is recommending all hospitals set up tents outside their ERs to screen people even before they get out of their car. If your hospital doesn’t have a tent outside, it’s most likely been ordered and awaiting delivery.  If someone arrives and presents mild symptoms and can still breathe fine, they are told to go home and self-isolate. Hospitals are only admitting patients presenting with hypoxia or more serious breathing issues. They don’t want to fill the hospitals up with minor cases. They’ll most likely need those beds down the road. 

The White House announced they were able to remove regulation that N95 construction masks can be used in hospitals opening up large orders for hospitals. Another liability issue that needed to be waived is one-time use wording on the masks. When rationing masks, hospitals have been figuring out ways to reuse masks without increasing risk.but they weren’t legally allowed to until regulations were waived, national or state of emergency. 

Hospitals are checking CDC recommendations hourly as they are constantly changing. It sounds like they are learning a lot from Italy.  

I know some of this is happening here too, but some of the details are confidential here as well. They do have a triage tent. 

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3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

My friend is a medical transcriptionist. She works from home.  She and all other work at home people were sent an email this morning by the CEO of the hospital begging for volunteers to screen people before they go into the clinic. She is going to do it.

Oh, wow! I think our tent is being manned by more highly trained people than normal--I bet they will be looking very narrowly at symptoms and train her well, but that's a big thing to offer. Here, I think it's the triage before triage, but a lot of encouraging people to go home if they don't need to be there and then routing those with respiratory symptoms to the right area to be seen.

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3 minutes ago, Scarlett said:

My friend is a medical transcriptionist. She works from home.  She and all other work at home people were sent an email this morning by the CEO of the hospital begging for volunteers to screen people before they go into the clinic. She is going to do it.

In order for hospital employees to enter when they swipe their cards they have to answer screening questions. Entrances have been reduced and have screeners at the entrances. 

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36 minutes ago, kbutton said:

My 16 y.o. OFFERED his bed (second nicest in the house) and is sleeping on a mattress in his brother's room until we can get the office/spare room ready. He's awesome. He has a queen bed in his room (a comfy one) on the condition that he vacates for guests. Bonus: his room is almost always tidy and clean--he tidied up what little what out of place yesterday. 

He's the awesomest, and you can tell him I said so! :wub:

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22 hours ago, Big Buckin' Longhorn said:

I’m not sure if I qualify as a front line health care provider. I’m a social worker in a VA hospital.
It feels like we’re the sacrificial lambs in this whole deal. Very little/leftover PPE and near constant contact with patients. All Lysol, Clorox, gloves, masks, etc... I have are those I brought myself from home. I do use them no matter how anyone else feels about it. I am extremely psychologically taxed right now.
I take my clothes off as soon as I get home and shower. I have a vehicle, hamper, bedroom, and bathroom just for me. I’m not sure what else I can do. I’m a middle aged woman just trying to take care of my clients while not dying in the process. 
 

 

22 hours ago, kbutton said:

You count! I can't tell you how much social workers mean to my DH in his job. 

The VA is a challenging environment in good times. Hang in there! Thank you. 

Oh, my stars! YES, YOU QUALIFY!!! 
<ahem> sorry for shouting

I, too, utilize social workers, community paramedics, and mental health workers in my job - heavily. They are invaluable for helping lessen the burden on the 911 system and the local ERs.

Thank you for what you do! Be safe!

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36 minutes ago, Plum said:

In order for hospital employees to enter when they swipe their cards they have to answer screening questions. Entrances have been reduced and have screeners at the entrances. 

Yup! I now have to take and record my temp 3 times a shift — once before coming to work, an hour after starting, and at the 12 hour mark. My boss is thinking about adding a 4th temp check for around midnight or so. 

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I’m a pediatrician. So far for us things have been weirdly quieter than usual. Patients don’t want to come in...which is totally understandable. Ironically though it’s probably much less likely that they will get anything now than they it was back in January at the height of flu season because then we are packed and now we are empty. I worked yesterday and literally so zero sick patients. It was all well checks. 

Even with being weirdly quiet we have all kinds of protocols in place to screen and keep people out of our office if there is any chance of Covid-19 (we can’t really easily test yet so we would help direct them to the right place to go rather than have them come in and then have to go somewhere else and double the amount of people that get exposed). We also have begun doing Tele-visits for things that don’t require a physical exam (med checks, behavioural consults, etc). 

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