#7181
Beverly
Member

My unit has been on a respiratory outbreak for the past week due to cough in 7 residents. However, visitors are still allowed to visit their loved ones. Staff are expected to either wear an N95 mask or the surgical mask with a face shield. One family member approached me saying a PSW staff required her to wear a face shield. She explained that her mum was not on isolation and had no respiratory symptoms. She argued that there was no point in her wear the shield as she is not in close contact with the residents who have symptoms. I notified the Infection Control Coordinator to clarify if visitors are also expected to wear the PPE staff wear. He explained that visitors do not necessarily need to wear the N95 or surgical mask/face shield. I informed this visitor about the update. Since it’s an Alzheimer’s unit, I may have isolated residents wandering and not necessarily understand the need to stay in their rooms. I encouraged her that in case such residents come close, it will be better for her to wear the shield but it is up to her. She understood my explanation and adhered to wearing the face shield in addition to the surgical mask. This was a productive conflict as no one’s feelings were hurt and it did not end in a dangerous tension between the staff and visitors. It was a debate around issues important to the team.