COVID-19 What Nurses Need to Know - from ANA
Preparedness, Early Identification, and Notification
All nurses and the health care team must receive the highest level of protection to provide care for the individuals and communities in which they serve. It is essential to develop and educate ALL staff on preparedness plans that provide infection control procedures and protocols used within the health care facility for the early identification, containment, and care of patients with symptoms associated with Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) to prevent spread within the facility.
- Develop inpatient, ambulatory, and home care policies and procedures that are in line with current CDC guidelines for COVID-19
- Provide training to all personnel on screening and isolation procedures
- Provide updated training and guidelines on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including the use of N-95 respirators, gloves, gowns, masks, eye protection, and a face shields
- Display clear signage with instructions for access and use of PPE
- Ensure consistent use of proper hand hygiene, standard precautions, contact precautions, and airborne precautions, along with the proper use of a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)-Approved N-95 respirator or higher
- Clearly display signage for patients that lists symptoms and instructions to wear a face mask before entering the healthcare facility if symptoms are present.
- Incorporate assessment questions to document a detailed travel and community exposure history when patients present with fever, cough, or respiratory illness.
- Identify, in advance, airborne infection isolation rooms (AIIR) or negative pressure rooms, for quarantine and screening
- Outline staffing protocols to facilitate care of patients with COVID-19 to minimize patient-to-patient and patient to health care worker transmission
- Develop a telephone triage protocol for patients to access from home to minimize community based transmission
- Have available for immediate notification of Patient’s Under Investigation (PUI) the infection control personnel at your facility and the local and state health department. Click here for additional Recommendations for Reporting, Testing, and Specimen Collection and the fillable COVID-19 PUI case investigation form
- For Patients Under Investigation (PUI), follow the Criteria to Guide Evaluation of PUI for COVID-19