Whether you are working during a pandemic, or during flu season, it helps ease your mind and concerns when you can keep your family and your patients safe from infectious disease. A catchphrase that was made popular in mental health circles to help prevent burnout is, “don’t take your work home with you.” During this pandemic, the phrase takes on a whole new meaning. Here are tips to help keep you and your family safe from the spread of infection, including the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
What to do at Work
While you’re caring for others, keep your personal items stored safely away. The CDC believes COVID-19 is “spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person.” and does not spread easily in other ways.
However, as it is still a new disease, they also state it could potentially be possible to get the infection from touching contaminated surfaces and then touching your own mouth, nose, or eyes. They add: “This is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads, but we are still learning more about this virus.”
The most important ways scientists have found to stop the spread of respiratory illnesses, such as COVID-19 and flu, is to wash your hands frequently and to keep your hands away from your face. Use good hand washing techniques, such as washing for 20 seconds, using soap and water to rinse and scrubbing between your fingers and along your finger pads.
Clean your cellphone at least once daily. People often think of their digital devices as an extension of themself, taking them from the kitchen to the bathroom and the bedroom. They are repositories of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, so it’s essential to clean them daily using the recommended method from your phone’s manufacturer. Using bleach may permanently damage your screen or phone.
Check-in with Yourself
You have the best understanding of how you feel each day. Remember those negative feelings and feeling fearful have an impact on your immune system. People who are depressed and anxious have a higher risk of catching a cold or other infectious disease.
Instead, recognize that every day brings something positive, and it’s your job to identify the positive and celebrate it. When you change your attitude about the world around you, it doesn’t change the circumstances – but it does change the impact those circumstances have on your mental and physical health.
Getting Ready to Go Home
Wash your hands before leaving your job and again when you get home. You can pick up pathogens with every object you touch. However, it’s also vital to remember that your skin carries beneficial bacteria that help protect your health. Washing your hands too often kills these bacteria, dries your skin, and increases your risk of infection.
When you get home, it’s a good idea to clean your phone of the germs you picked up outside the house. Change your clothes as soon as you get home, to avoid bringing any germs from your client’s home to your home. While the SARS-CoV-2 virus doesn’t live well on inanimate objects, other pathogens do, so it’s wise to be safe. Some healthcare professionals like to shower when they arrive home.
Have Questions? Anodyne Can Help!
Remember to take common-sense steps to keep yourself and your family safe. This includes keeping a positive attitude and remaining vigilant. At Anodyne, we are committed to helping you stay safe and stay healthy. Call our professional recruiters today – we can help you find your next healthcare job!