Although the pandemic hasn’t quite died down just yet, employers are already taking steps to ensure employee safety once we return to the office. Healthcare workers will have to take extra precautions upon returning to work once we get better control of the pandemic. Certain restrictions will likely be put in place and hygiene will be a major factor throughout the day. Here’s what getting back to the office will look like.
1. You’ll Have to Wear a Mask
Even after COVID starts tapering off, you may still have to wear a mask while at work, especially if you work in direct contact with patients or the general public. N95 face masks are the most effective when it comes to face coverings that prevent the spread of COVID. Stock up on some from companies like Green Supply so that when you return to the office you’re more than prepared for the workplace environment.
2. You’ll Continue to Social Distance
Once you return to work, there will likely be restrictions in place that require you to socially distance in the workplace. It might be hard in a healthcare setting, but you’ll have face masks and/or face shields for when space is limited or you have to treat a patient in close proximity to others. This is especially important for people with compromised immune systems and older adults with certain medical conditions.
3. Hand Washing Will Become More Frequent
After you get the okay to return to work, your place of employment may require you to wash your hands after each interaction with a patient or customer. Wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with soap and water. In lieu of hand washing, you might be able to use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. It all depends on your place of employment and what their rules are concerning this.
4. You’ll Be Required to Stay Home When Necessary
If you start developing COVID-19 symptoms or you test positive after returning to work, your employer will require you to stay home and quarantine for the appropriate amount of time. This is to limit the risk of exposing your co-workers and your patients to the virus. Notify your supervisor and follow the CDC recommended precautions if you start experiencing symptoms of any kind. If a family member of yours is sick, you’ll also need to let your employer know so they can take the right precautions.
5. You’ll Have to Clean and Disinfect Often
Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces after each use is highly recommended. For instance, workstations, doorknobs, handrails, keyboards and telephones are all objects you should be wiping down with a disinfectant wipe after using them. Surfaces that are visibly dirty should be wiped down with soap and water before being wiped down with disinfectant. It’s also best to avoid sharing anything you don’t need to share, including desks, work tools and equipment, and phones.
Adjusting to the “New Normal”
Returning to work once things get back to “normal” means taking extra precautions to ensure that everyone stays safe and that we reduce the spread of the virus at all costs. As long as we continue taking the right precautions, we should be in great shape to return to the office successfully.