Since the beginning of COVID-19, PEINU has been working hard to keep you safe. This includes ensuring you have access to the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
We are pleased to report a joint statement on PPE has been signed by PEINU, UPSE, CUPE, IUOE, Health PEI and Government of PEI Health and Wellness. It identifies standards for health care workers. It’s been in progress for several weeks, but took time to finalize. It provides clarity on PPE and recognizes the clinical and professional judgement of health care workers.
Here are a few key highlights:
- A point-of-care risk assessment (PCRA) must be performed before every patient interaction to determine what PPE a health care worker requires to safely provide care.
The PCRA includes an evaluation of the type of care you will provide, the status of the patient/client/ resident and the environment in which you are practicing. If you determine, based on your professional and clinical judgement, that fitted respirator protection (N95 or equivalent) is required you will not be unreasonably denied by your employer. In the case where you determine an N95 is required and you are unable to be fitted for one, you will be deployed.
- Airborne precautions (including N95 respirator or approved equivalent or better protection) must be mandatory in areas where aerosol-generating medical procedures (AGMP) are being performed, are frequently performed, or in areas where there are intubated patients, including but not limited to emergency rooms, operating rooms, intensive care units, and bronchoscopy suites.
If you complete a PRCA and are still denied PPE:
- Show your manager the joint statement
- Contact your local president or the provincial office by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
While the joint statement is a positive step forward, we know issues regarding PPE will continue to arise. We’ll keep working to raise your concerns and work together with Health PEI and government to find solutions.
Mona O’Shea RN