The COVID-19 virus is rapidly becoming a nightmare for a lot of people, but health care workers are constantly on the front lines of the viral outbreak. That means that they’re most in danger of contracting the infection themselves.
Right now, doctors, nurses and other health care employees may not be getting adequate support and protection while they’re on the job. As of March 6, 2020, at least 50 health care employees in one state were ordered to go home due to contact with an infected patient and another 20 in another state were put under observation.
Hospitals and medical facilities are being urged to reexamine how they prepare for and handle viral outbreaks and protect their staff members. Some of the recommendations include:
- Involving health care employees directly in decisions about how to set up hospital and office protocols so that they are better protected
- Developing a more rapid response to potentially contagious patients so that they can be isolated faster
- Providing health care employees with better physical protection, including adequate gowns, gloves, masks and other personal protective gear
- Giving all health care employees more training on proper disease control methods, including the absolute necessity of handwashing and sanitizing surfaces
- The development of consistent policies regarding known outbreaks, like the COVID-19 virus
According to recent reports, only 44% of nurses say that they’ve been given information on how to identify new coronavirus cases. Only 29% say that their employer has a plan on how to isolate contagious patients.
A lot of things are being made painfully clear by this viral outbreak. Health care workers are being asked to do a tough job with far too little protection. If you’re a health care employee who is injured on the job, find out what legal rights you have to compensation.