Covid 19,  Health,  Hospitalist

How to protect yourself and your family from pandemic viral infection spread while working in hospital?

List of things to do to keep myself and my family from getting infected with virus in the pandemic.

I work as a hospitalist. After reading some posts online, I prepared a list of things I want to do to prevent virus infecting me and my family.

No loose hair, No long beard to work.

No watch, No ring, no necklace.

Wear scrubs if possible so forearms are easy to wash as you have to wash as many times as possible.

Use Clorox wipes to clean phone as many times as possible. I put one Clorox wipe in car trunk, one in car door, one in bathroom.

Carry Driving license and Credit card in Ziploc bag. Avoid carrying complete wallet. You can even put cell phone in Ziploc bag.

Take your own lunch in a Ziploc bag so you can throw away after eating and water bottle if possible and avoid hospital cafeteria.

Wear facemask before getting down the car in the hospital parking lot. Wear surgical facemask all day long with any regular patient. Wear proper PPE as per your institution rules with suspected or positive COVID patients.

Avoid common places in the hospital especially where your colleagues change scrubs as the act of removing hospital scrubs and wearing your own can potentially still aerosolize virus particles.

Avoid wearing a white coat.

Do quick patient rounds. Do not go too close to the patients as much as possible.

Use disposable stethoscope in patient’s rooms as much as possible.

Assume that every person you meet is either a carrier or infected with virus and take necessary precautions.

Do IDT rounds/huddle on phone or via skype.

While at work, avoid common places like cafeteria, water fountain etc.

Do not touch your face.

How to avoid touching your face? If you find yourself touching your face at work, flex your elbow to 90 degrees and put a piece of tape on your extensor surface of your elbow vertically. Every time you flex your elbow beyond 90 degrees while you are unconsciously trying to touch your face, it will pull your skin and remind you not to touch your face.

Push doors with legs to open and if you touch any door, immediately clean hands with hand sanitizer.

Do not rush to see patient with out proper PPE even though it is a code blue.

Talk to the patients on phone for history and only enter the room for a quick physical exam.

Only one doctor rotates in virus infected floor patients as much as possible.

Wash hands and forearms at least for 20 sec as many times as possible, between each patient encounter, when you touch any surface touched by others etc. Definitely, wash hands and forearms thoroughly before going home at the end of the shift. I heard some people even take shower at the hospital before going home.

Clean phone, ID badge, Driving license and credit card with Clorox wipes before getting into the car. I open my trunk door with key without touching the car. I have Clorox wipes in trunk and I clean all these above stuff that I have on me and put them in the trunk.

When you reach home, remove shoes and clothes in garage. Shoes stay in garage. Clean your hands with hand sanitizer in garage if possible or wash hands. Take the clothes and put them directly in laundry.

Go straight to laundry room from garage, put clothes in washer and wash with hot water, bleach, if you can.

Clean washer buttons with Clorox wipes after starting the wash.

Then, go and take shower.

Teach kids why social isolation is important and why you are maintaining at least 2 meter distance.

Stay home as much as possible when off work.

No smoking, No alcohol use.

Eat nutritious food.

Continue Social isolation with everybody including neighbors and relatives.

Please comment below if you have any more suggestions.

What to do at home:

Wear a surgical face mask if you have at home for a few days after finishing rotation taking care of COVID patients.

Sleep in a separate bed room and use a separate bathroom if possible.

Wash your hands with soap and water frequently. If you use a cup to drink water, keep it in sink before using again.

You can use disinfectant wipes to clean common areas like island in the kitchen, remotes etc.

If you order anything online, keep them in garage for 3 days if you do not have to open them right away or if you order groceries, wash with soap and water in the sink or wipe surfaces with disinfectant wipes.

Remember the idea is not to eliminate the risk completely as it is not possible living in the same house with others but to minimize the risk.

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