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Facing COVID-19, Safety is Our Top Priority

You care about patients, we care about you.

The work of a nursing professional has never been easy — and when you add in the safety concerns of COVID-19, on-the-job challenges have reached unprecedented heights. As a medical professional working in these times, worries range from getting sick and being unable to work and earn a living, bringing the virus home to your family, or even carrying coronavirus into the workplace and exposing the people in your care.

As the pandemic continues, nothing in recent times has thrust healthcare workers into the spotlight like this. Frontline workers are recognized as heroes — finally receiving long deserved praise and recognition. And while “thank yous” are meaningful and appreciated, they don’t alleviate the overwhelming concerns regarding your working conditions.

Everyone has been asking the same questions, from nursing personnel and healthcare professionals, to our account managers at All American and even the facilities themselves, about what’s being done to keep people safe while providing critical care. We understand the worries that plague you each and every day as you go to work. They echo the same questions many facilities are asking themselves: 

Business as usual isn’t an option

If there was ever a time to reform and strengthen everyday practices to promote health and safety, it’s now. Facilities across the country are strengthening their protocols to keep both workers and patients safe. The key is understanding the risks, making safety the top priority and making sure you can do your job, while caring for yourself at the same time.

The CDC has released a COVID-19 Preparedness Checklist specifically for nursing homes and other long-term care settings with updated guidelines designed to protect the vulnerable. This checklist serves as a valuable resource, helping facilities identify their current strengths, as well as areas where improvement is needed to boost preparedness efforts.

On May 14, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a one-page guidance sheet titled “COVID-19 Guidance for Nursing Home and Long-Term Care Facility Workers”, listing tips and recommendations that employers of these facilities may institute to reduce employee exposure, including:

  • Regularly screening workers and residents for signs and symptoms consistent with the virus
  • Closely monitoring and taking additional precautions regarding employees and residents who may have been exposed to an individual with COVID-19
  • Maintaining at least six feet between workers, residents and visitors, to every extent possible
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting shared equipment and frequently touched surfaces in all areas
  • Continually monitoring PPE stocks, burn rate and supply chains, and developing a process for decontamination and reuse

Many individual states are ramping up their efforts, too — mandating testing for staff and residents, increasing the availability of PPE, and enforcing mandatory notification of residents, families and staff as outbreaks occur. In New Jersey, for example, 120 National Guard Soldiers were sent to long-term care centers as of May 7, to relieve the staff and provide essential back-up support. And in Connecticut, these facilities have received 10% increase across the board in Medicare payments,  which is being applied toward employee wages, as well as new costs related to visitor screenings, PPE, and cleaning and housekeeping supplies.

We care about YOU

At All American Healthcare, representing healthcare workers across the country, we are regularly following up with facilities in order to ensure that the necessary precautions are being taken with your health in mind, and tracking their response to new regulations. Under the current conditions, healthcare workers need all the support they can get to stay well. Let there be no question that your safety is our top priority.

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