PPE is a part of every day life now for all of the talented nurses, personal support workers, and caregivers who work at CalaCare.
Since the start of the pandemic our policies always mandated PPE for all client visits. This has been important not only for the safety of our clients and staff, but also to help everyone feel comfortable that it’s ok to be around people when you are diligent about taking the right precautions.
But PPE equipment can be cumbersome and uncomfortable.
Many of us may have worn a mask to the grocery store or the mall recently, but have you ever considered what it would be like to wear PPE gear for an entire 12 hour overnight shift?
That’s a whole different ball game.
Maybe you can tolerate a mask loop that rubs your ears a bit when you’re only wearing it for 45-minutes at a time, but if wearing it for your whole shift the rubbing becomes a nightmare.
To help out I wanted to share a few things our caregivers are doing to make wearing PPE less of a burden.
Make PPE wearing more comfortable by using the ‘ear-saver’
This little trick is a life-saver.
By attaching mask loops (or face shield attachments) to each other using a small piece of plastic like the one pictured below, you remove all the friction from behind your ears.
This takes away the #1 complaint we get about PPE which is that after a few hours, most masks and face shields rub your ears raw.
The ‘ear-saver’ is a MUST-HAVE. If you’re interested you can find them on Amazon or at many retailers now.
If you can’t find any just let us know and we’ll send you some of ours for free (we’re always happy to help!).
Make PPE more comfortable by wearing a headband under a face shield
Face shields are worn in conjunction with masks in health care settings, but are also becoming more popular to be worn without masks for non-medical purposes because they are less obstructive to a person’s breathing and do not hide half of your face, so you feel more connected with others. The experts are still debating whether a face shield used on its own is effective to combat the spread of COVID-19, so while they are debating we’ll focus on how to make wearing a face shield more comfortable!
They do come with a few drawbacks.
First they’re heavier than masks which makes the fit much more important and also can make them more uncomfortable if they are too tight.
Another drawback of face shields is that they can put a lot of pressure on the wearer’s forehead.
Often the shields come equipped with a foam band or in some cases just a hard plastic strap where they meet the forehead, but both of these are extremely uncomfortable after long periods of wear.
One thing many of our caregivers are doing to combat this is wearing a discrete headband underneath (this one is an example) to create a barrier between the plastic and their forehead.
This goes a long way to making a face shield much more comfortable.
Make PPE more comfortable by adding a little ‘style’
Okay, confession time…
Back at the beginning of the pandemic we were desperately searching everywhere for masks to outfit our staff and during that time we placed many orders from many sources trying to fill our needs.
One of our orders didn’t quite turn out so well…
Apparently one of us accidentally ordered masks that actually had…well…mustaches on them.
They looked something like this:
Obviously these were never given to any caregivers and never used by us but it’s a funny reminder that just because PPE serves a public health purpose doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
There are many retailers now offering great high quality masks that add a bit of style or flair without sacrificing at all on the actual efficacy of the mask. So feel free to be creative!
PPE is a part of every day life now for all of us but that doesn’t mean it has to be uncomfortable or even boring. At CalaCare we know that the more comfortable and stylish the gear is the more it will be used and the safer we’ll all be. We’d encourage all our readers to use the same rules!