N.J. Nurses Share PPE Experiences

 In Nurses Weekly

The ANA asked nurses to share their PPE experiences. Here are their responses.

If you are willing, please share your recent PPE experiences below:
I am the Corporate Director of Education for Prime Healthcare and I have not directly cared for patients with COVID. However, I worked on our corporate COVID task force where we daily spent a great deal of time trying to ship PPE from our non-surge facilities to our surge facilities. Now we have hospitals that are surging in TX, CA and FL and the N.J. hospitals are still not completely replenished.  Staff are making the best of things, but you can see that this has been very stressful for them. Basic PPE should never have to be questioned. It causes such moral/ethical distress when caring for patients.
As a COVID swab nurse, I am required to use N95 indefinitely despite strap broken and moisture soiled (developed bloody nose). I purchased several N95 to use since employer refused to reissue N95 masks.
We were finally given new N95 masks after 2 weeks. Prior to this we were wearing KN95 masks, which did not seem to offer much protection. We had trouble with the straps breaking or the mask itself splitting.
We work in an inpatient mental health unit where all of our patients are amongst each other and staff. They are given surgical masks when they need one, which honestly can be more than once a day based on the population we serve. However, as the staff caring for those same patients, we Re told for reuse our surgical masks for a week. They get damp from us breathing 12 hours in them and sometimes by the end of the shift your skin feels almost raw from the material in those masks.
In the last two weeks I have rarely experienced PPE shortages, and when that was the case it was due to restocking not a shortage.
I was able to get my PPE supplies without any difficulty.
Using masks has changed my communication with my patients, especially the elderly who are hard of hearing and previously benefited from lip reading
We are using gowns sparingly. We have no N95.
I contacted COVID-19 at my job in April due to lack of PPE!
I work in a long-term care facility in which PPE has recently been said to be available but is rarely accessible on demand. Our PPE has never consisted of more than washable isolation gowns, plastic glasses, masks. (Only specific population allowed to wear shields & N95s
The shortage of PPE’s especially early on in the pandemic made the patient care very difficult. It required careful coordination of all team members entering the patient’s rooms in order to preserve PPE’s.  The shortage of PPE’s also contributed to an increase in my stress level due to fear of exposing myself to the virus and bringing it home to my family.  Wearing a full One-Fit- All PEE gear for a prolonged time when in patient’s room was also physically draining.
At the beginning PPE was hard to get. We were reusing N95, but it has gotten a lot better. Everything has been available
We are fortunate to have had enough PPE throughout. I won’t say we didn’t worry about it during the peak, and we were disinfecting N95s at that time. We are fine now and preparing for the future should another wave come.
We are told that we do not require N95 masks at work any longer, just a surgical mask is enough. I do not feel safe since I go home to my 71-year-old father who has a history of prostate cancer. We are expected to swab patients for COVID with just a surgical mask for procedure clearance.  We had some positive cases pop up.
Getting supplies is a struggle and I am always taking blame from staff for not giving them enough even though I am just following directives and given the shortage.
I have not been fit tested in over a year. The N-95 that is easiest to get is too big and gives me itching and a rash. We have to go to our central supply department with a requisition slip. Sometimes the person working there gives you a hard time. I always get one that is too small but it’s better than the itchy large one. I feel like We are not cared for properly. I work in a high-risk unit
We buy our own face masks.
Equipment has become mire available in the last 30 days. The CDC says they are shipping more equipment to us. It has not arrived and communication with the CDC contact is very difficult and spotty.
I caught COVID-19 due to lack of appropriate PPE
We have had a change in PPE which has allowed us to dispose of N95 daily
I worked for the federal government in an emergency room. I was afforded adequate PPE throughout the pandemic. That being said I felt safe to provide professional service to my patients without the thought of possibly transmitting the virus to my family.
I teach nursing students at a mid-sized catholic university.  We have been provided with hand sanitizer, alcohol 70 %, gloves.  We wear our own masks. There are many updates to the environment including where to enter and exit the building, rules for using the elevators, etc…
You need to look in Rehab and Long-Term Facilities that are out of PPE
I would wear my N95 under my surgical mask into the room and when departing throw away surgical mask and place used N95 in a marked bag outside the room to be used again. I would then put on my new surgical mask and continue wearing it until I need to enter a COVID room again… my hospital ran out of duck bill N95’s in the later days of our COVID surge here in New Jersey. Luckily, I’m part time and I had taken a handful of them when we first had the surge begin
I have not experienced any shortage of PPE at my hospital.
We are constantly exposed during our shift. We have to wear one N95 throughout our shift. Have you ever smelt this-TOXIC? We are told to use the same PPE gowns since we are issued 2-3 each day. We have doctors and resident who don’t step into the rooms saying, “we are saving the PPE for the nurses.” But it’s Ok for the nurse to have repeated exposure.
I work for a nonclinical community-based organization and as the only nurse working, I had enough masks or myself but not enough for the rest of the staff.  Purchasing masks became a problem so I rationed the masks that I had with the other staff so we could work with clients.  I became difficult to get masks for about a month.  Once, I was able to purchase masks I trained each employee in the use of the different types of PPE masks and gowns.
AS we have continued to learn more about this virus we have been provided with additional PPE-Face shields to be worn with all patients with masks.
I feel the PPE requirements have been meet at my facility
Recently we have had increased supplies. We are still having issues with the N-95S. There seems to be a delay in delivery. Our gowns have improved, we are now getting the break-a-way at the neck type, whereas before we were using gowns that you had to remove by going over the head, they did not break (they stretched forever). We have access to both shields and goggles. Surgical masks both tie and over ear. They have increased availability to these, which allows us to change masks during the shift (at one point you had to use one a shift, which was full of sweat by 2-3 hours into the shift).
We have had very few cases of positive COVID cases since May. PPE since then has been available for suspected COVID cases Goggles and splash guards are however rarely available
The fear of not having the proper PPE was more widespread than the reality of not having the PPE. We were always provided the PPE to keep us safe.
Our department gets the surgical masks, but we are encouraged to re-use for 3 -5 days. We have one face shield and one goggle per staff. Facility will replace them when broken
I am psych and working from home with telehealth sessions with children and parents in a child welfare contracted agency.  I have not had any problems with Covid issues.  Parents I work with are avid in protecting themselves and the children in their care.
OEM supplied PPE last week $1 per case do no I have enough
For Best Practice, gear up with PPE including face shield, hair & shoe covers, especially during triage of patients in Emergency Department for safety of frontline caregivers & health care workers. -Nanette B. Tan
I have not experienced any type of shortage of PPE equipment with my employer. We are fortunate enough to have face shields, N95 mask, surgical mask, disposable gowns, googles, hand sanitizer, etc. I work as a primary community RN for an all-inclusive program for the elderly. I make home visits and I also do some office work.
we are required to re-use the N95 mask for 5 days with a surgical mask covering it.  the surgical masks are issued daily.  at the end of 1 day wearing the N95 like this, it is smushed and pretty much feels like it’s blocking my ability to breathe through my nose.  to me, this seems as though the integrity of the mask is compromised after wearing it for just 1 shift.  How good is the integrity of wearing the masks after 5 shifts?
Limited N95 masks used for 7 days; using surgical mask on top of it; limited germicidal wipes—encouraged to ‘use sparingly’
As a case manager I have access to PPE. We are using face shield, N95 and surgical mask when going into patient’s rooms.
PPE makes it harder to breathe when operating a busy 36 bed unit
The nurses had to challenge the administration about poor access to PPE and room cleanliness.
I was the first person fitted with the KN95 mask and I used it for 4x that I worked on the Covid floors and t5hen I was told tha6t the KN95 was  not going to be used any further for some reason or another
We had several ventilated unstable patients who were initially COVID positive and subsequently had both positive and negative test but still had symptoms and we were being told that we did not require PPE To care for these patients as they did not have active virus. Nursing repeatedly stated they were not comfortable with this decision, so they were begrudgingly given masks but asked to reuse their equipment. Most staff have now bought their own N95s but because they are not medical grade or hospital provided there are questions about if we contact COVID will we receive COVID pay for sick time
We currently do not even have purple top wipes to disinfect the hard surfaces. Reusing N95, face shields and goggles. last week had NO gowns. Goggles given do not fit properly on employees that wear prescription glasses.
Until now, we are only given 1 surgical mask and 1 N95 respirator for the whole shift. If you don’t have a COVID patient assigned to you, you don’t get any mask. I am required to wear a mask at all times at work. So whatever mask I wear from home to work is what I wear until I finish my shift. If you need masks, you have to go to another floor and ask because they keep it locked up under lock and key. I have had to buy my own reusable respirator and face shield to protect myself due to the lack of PPE provided by my facility. Soap and hand sanitizers aren’t regularly filled and could take hours to do so. COVID patients are still being treated by aerosolized treatments ordered by doctors despite being advised to avoid the use of them due to staff safety concern and lack of PPE.
In March to April we were short of disposable gowns and then they changed it to washable gowns.  We had small and large n95 and recently ran out of small masks.  They substituted duckbill masks instead.  PAPR helmets kept on breaking and disposable shields became scarce and was used mostly by the doctors and anesthesiologists and fewer nurses.
I just came back from volunteer assignment in Brooklyn Hospital NYC, long term care assignment/ sub-acute.  I was fitted for a mask initially, never actually received the mask I was fitted for, except the day I was fitted. We were given one mask and one gown per day, a face should for the week.  We were not given any opportunity to select the appropriate mask. They varied by day.my last 2 weeks, we were told we had to use surgical masks unless we were on a known COVID floor. I did ask about potential risk, since we were all (patients and staff) trading testing weekly and when a patient came back positive that were placed on the COVID unit. I floated amongst many floors, including COVID unit-as did other staff. I asked about staff transmitting COVID under this circumstance, I was told CDC recommend no one use n95 unless they are on a known COVID unit and we are tested weekly, so this is the policy. I asked about testing, false negatives (staff were testing positive at other facilities and then negative at ours), I asked about the time between testing and the lag in results with potential risk of unknowingly transmitting. I was told this was the policy. It is worth noting,  I have never had a test performed like this before (swabbed by the bottom left gum area-only one side) I am now working at my local agency job,  same swing setting – I was not given any PPE today. I brought my own mask and that’s what I used. They did not have NIOSH approved n95 in stock. I did ask for a face shield and was given one. No one was wearing n95. Many patients recently sent to hospital in the last week, unknown why-but the census is low, and this was long term care unit. Known positive on sub-acute units. Many residents noted coughing in the unit.
Told don’t wear N95 with patients who are exercising, often breathing heavily with surgical masks. Sometimes coughing or sneezing
Positive experience. I was given all the PPE that I needed.
I’m required to re-use N95’s and most times we don’t have them easily available especially on night shift.
I haven’t treated a patient with COVID-19 in the last two weeks because our facility’s COVID rate had dropped to 3 patients. However, I am a nurse practitioner who was rounding on our COVID team as a PMD during the height of our pandemic in New Jersey. At that time our facility experienced some shortages in PPE, but by the grace of God and donations we never were unprotected.
We are given masks every morning. It is a long-term Rehab.
We are given green disposable N95s that are not fit tested on most of us in our unit. I personally was fit tested for the halyard duckbill but it’s somehow not available to me in my facility. I work in a CTICU but sometimes there are patients who tests positive on the second tests who are in our unit already.
I have never had any shortage of PPE
I am currently working from home as APN in Telehealth. If I need to work with patients Face to Face, I have PPE provided by the company I work for. The facility was short of PPE. Therefore, I brought my PPE to work place. I am very fortunate to work for a company that is extremely supportive to its staff. Thank you!
I have not been at work recently for my primary job as a school nurse. I believe I will have access to N95 masks, with reusing them. I currently work my second/part time job as an on call forensic nurse (sexual assault patients in the ER, death pronouncements in the community). I have access to face shields, goggles, boot covers, Tyvek suits, and N95 masks, but I get 2-3 N95 masks at a time and reuse them for several cases. I’m struggling to find disinfecting wipes on my own at stores to use for decontaminating my items (stethoscope, shoes, etc.) between cases.
Not having appropriate PPE puts my life and those that I live with at risk while doing a job I love!!! The PPE masks we used in March-May were ones we were not fitted for, once we got fitted the mask, I was fitted for were never available. I was fortunate that my husband had N95’s at work that I wore.  I was fitted for this specific mask in nursing school and It was effective.  The “N95” mask that was provided by my employer during the time I cared for our COVID positive patients (About 8 weeks) NEVER fitted properly. When I can spell a patient’s bowel movement with my mask on, it means it doesn’t work.  I did this once and never wore the masks provided by the facility I worked for again!!!! I used my own.
The facility where I was working required daily re- use of the same N95 mask unless it was visibly soiled or damaged in a way that would prevent safe use.
Using non-medical PPE such as gowns.   Run out of masks as we give them to patients and wait for the daily delivery from management despite reusing N95
Required to use surgical mask for 7-10 days and using this mask for nuclear stress test not an N 95 required to buy own face shield after initial one is no longer useable.
We are mainly short on face shields and small N95 masks. They have brought in the duck bill N95, but a lot of people fail the fit test.
I work in corrections and we don’t have gowns we are required to use thin ponchos…the n95 mask does not fit Properly and are not decontaminated after use. We were told to store our surgical masks in brown paper bags to reuse.
I wanted to use N95. I was told the CDC guide does not recommend.
I worked at a Rehab Place and you had not enough N95 masks available. They had to reuse N95 masks. That is why I left.
Specifically, in our neonatal unit we’re not provided face shield, or goggles staff secure their own, sad, N95, gowns and surgical masks are the only available free to us staff
I am recently retired, so have no institutional shortages of PPE to discuss since I am currently not working. My retirement date was 1/1/2020.
The PPE supplies are more plentiful in my facility. But the qualities extremely poor in my opinion. Surgical masks are breaking and falling off. Disposable gowns are ripping just trying to put them on plastic Shields are so thin that they just crack. In my opinion a quality of these products is horrible. I’ve noticed even that the gloves that we wear now equality is poor. try to apply them to your hands he winds up ripping more of them
I have never experienced a shortage of PPE. The company I work for was proactive in obtaining supplies in anticipation of COVID exposure in our facilities
We are required in the NICU to wear plastic bag gowns to feed babies and care for COVID positive moms. These are extremely hot and uncomfortable. Many nurses have taken shortcuts when wearing the gowns (is not fully tying them) which leaves them inadequately protected.
We have all been required to reuse the same N-95. We are expected to keep our mask in a safe, dry and clean space.
We were in a bad way in March.  LTC had no PPE.  Has gotten better, but at times recently items are harder to get.
N95 and KN95 fit most of our staff.  Have difficulty with some staff member.  Genesis has made every effort to secure different masks and continues to update our formulary for these supplies.  But, with the shortage they can only do so much themselves.
Recently things have been better with PPE, but my hospital tells us we MUST start seeing clients in person, because Medicaid will no longer pay for virtual appointments. Do you know if that is true?
I work in a nursing home.  We are given 1 N95 per week and told to cover it with a regular surgical mask, also provided one per week).  2 weeks ago, we were told we only need surgical masks, then this week restarted N95s because we have pts going out to dialysis so there is the possibility, they are bringing something back.
We were proactive and ordered appropriate amounts of PPE in February.  Many orders were cancelled by supplier, commandeered by gov’t agencies and stolen off Fed Ex trucks.  The fundamental issue is our reliance on manufacturing essential equipment and supplies outside this country and this needs to change.
Shortages were more common in the beginning of the pandemic. Since then, we’ve had fairly regular PPE distribution, but we are still reusing our equipment for a full week or so before we can get replacements, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Right now, I feel like we are cutting back and not distributing the N95 masks until we have a need.
We have had enough PPE at my hospital in NJ since the beginning of the pandemic in March. The PPE is issued carefully and thoughtfully.
If the visitors are using our PPE, there isn’t any shortage.
We have ample supply
During the height of COVID we were required to return use our N95 masks. Prior to being hired we are fit tested for 3M n95 masks, at one point the only n95 available were not the ones we were properly fit tested – therefore we were forced to use the 3ms that we had been wearing for 2+ weeks until more were available . Gowns were sometimes unavailable, but the majority of our issues were with the n95 and the hospital changing its policy so frequently as to what was recommended and what wasn’t
They don’t fit… One size fits all.  They stink like a tire/ mechanics garage.
N95 masks have to be signed out and back in for reprocessing. At first, we were only reprocessing 3m but now are also reprocessing duck bill masks. It feels very unsafe.
I believe the reuse of n95s even when cleaned with antibacterial wipes places on at risk. We are required to use n95 especially in March and early April.
My facility is an urban acute care hospital, we have been trialing new N95 to go back to daily wear. We are currently wearing them for 3 days from a high of 7 days at out COVID peak.
PPE is usually assigned to each employee before the shift starts. Very effective and efficient process.
I was given 1 N95 to use until they get more, and I had the straps break on mine so then they said to use 2 surgical masks. I went out and bought a full-face shield respirator. Out of my pocket- I spent 290.00 so I know I am safe as the quality of the new PPE is terrible. A lot of nurses are complaining of the straps breaking in presence of a positive patient or the foam pc being melted to a good seal is not possible. We were told to put N95 in paper bags and re use them until they can give more. Gowns were also being re used. Surgical mask was to be used for 8he shift then throw away but then they said due to shortages try to re-use. I these humid conditions masks were 100% wet with in 1hr of use. We were told to dry them on air vents.
The quality of masks, gowns, shields have greatly diminished over the past few months
My hospital admin claims to be short of everything. I work in L & D, where women pushing and delivering breathe heavy and blow. PPE is supposed to be full-on when the patient is in the pushing stage but good luck finding equipment. We have a “command center” in control of the supplies – but they are only there M-F day shift. The last day I worked (7/29/20) I needed a clean surgical mask but was told “we’re all out”. I’ve been wearing the same mask in and out of the hospital for 3 shifts. Bought my own to avoid this again. C-19 testing takes 2 days, so rooms are turned over without the UV robot (we have one in the hospital) for the next mom & baby. It feels like all infection control protocols went out the window when the CDC relaxed the guidelines – but now that things have quieted some (I live/work in NJ -greater NYC area) admin won’t get us what we need because they don’t have to! So frustrating, and I feel unsafe every day at work.
Immediately I have only had difficulties with obtaining eyewear and N95 masks. All others we have come back to par stock
I feel my institution has done a great job at making sure we have the PPE we need to do our job safely. We are given 3 masks per shift along with a N95 if we are attending deliveries. We have had plenty of gowns for rule outs as well. We have all been given face shields with our names on it.
There had been less and less cases of COVID, the number of patients continued to decline, hence we are using less PPE. The supplies are readily available.
In the past 2 weeks, we were given one face shield mandated to wear the entire shift and only one per person to be reused.  Also, the masks we are offered are labeled “for cosmetic use only”.
The fact that my facility knew about COVID before we did and knew patients were positive put all of us at risk. We had to beg for PPE especially 11-7, we had nothing. Most of us had to buy out of pocket supplies and reuse until they ripped or were no longer viable to use.
I work in a pre-op/PACU area and all our patients are being pre-tested for COVID, so we only see a handful of COVID positive patients.  Our biggest struggles with PPE have been with antibacterial wipes, hand sanitizer and surgical masks.  However, we have never been totally unable to get them – it is just more effort to get them sent up when we are out.  They are no longer being stocked at pre-COVID par levels – masks are not stocked at all – we must call storeroom for them.
I used my N95 12hrs or Q shift
The current process where I work is to re-use PPE, N95 masks. Required reuse is 12 hours and then we can obtain a new mask. We are practicing universal masking throughout the hospital and when treating patients that have tested positive or are PUI, full PPE is used. An N95 mask with a surgical mask covering the N95 mask, a gown, medical grade gloves, and goggles or a face shield. Face shields are recommended over goggles when aerosolizing procedures may take place. Most of the staff are still nervous and put on extra PPE, such as head coverings, foot covering, wearing 2 gowns; however, I have tried explaining that wearing more PPE than what is recommended may result in difficulties removing the PPE and self-contaminating. I feel very safe with my PPE practices (donning/doffing) so that I do not self-contaminate. Many staff, despite guidance, still want to wear more PPE all the time than what is required by the CDC. I work in my facility’s organizational education department and have conducted classes on proper PPE wearing and how wearing more equipment is not always a better choice. We have had decent supplies of PPE even during the height of COVID19 here in NJ, with rationing ongoing since mid-March of this year. Gowns seem to be scarce now, and we are asked not to waste them. N95 masks are easy to obtain and we are required to re-use rather than do extended use. We are also reusing face shields by wiping them down with our disinfectant wipes. Some staff keep their N95 mask on all day with a surgical mask covering it, fearing they will contract the virus if it is around.
Due to shortages we are told that less and less PPE is safe to wear. N95s are decontaminated with a chemical that leaves them smelling and causes a rash on more sensitive skin. We are told to use the same gown from room to room with COVID positive patients. It seems like the rules are changing without a regard for our safety.
I had to purchase my own KN95 with replaceable filters because I have not received a new mask or new paper bag in almost a month. I will take my chances cleaning and replacing my own filter instead of trusting management. I’m fortunate to work in psych where there are typically no respiratory problems. But I have treated several COVID positive patients in the last three months.
Surgical masks with face shields were handed out at the office on 3/30. On 3/31, I came down with COVID symptoms. I was told that 3 others I had come into contact with in the past 5 working days were positive. I was out for 2 1/2 weeks and was able to transition work from home. Happily, I was paid and did not have to take PTO.  I tried twice to get tested the first week I was sick but was never called to schedule an appointment. About 8 weeks after I was sick, I was tested and came back with COVID-19 antibodies.
The lack of PPE has caused a decline in patient care. We are only to go in the rooms when absolutely necessary and have to bundle our care.
PPE’s are essential for us to be able to give good care, no hesitation, to our patients. But instead of focusing on patient care, we find the nurses are getting destructed from doing so, instead is worried about their safety.
The hospitals where I work in NJ were very good about handling PPE at the peak of the pandemic.
Ample PPE is available for all staff and the hospital is moving toward single shift N95 use. The hospital has opted to switch from disposable plastic gowns to cloth gowns that are laundered by an outside vendor. Face shields are available for all staff. Surgical masks are provided to all staff entering the hospital and provided for visitors that may not have one.
I am a school nurse not an acute care facility nurse. I am concern that we will not have the Necessary PPE as all are school nurse vendors are out.
Masks are mandatory but some people walk around without their nose covered.  We have the necessary PPE for the tasks we are preforming.
Our company has centralized procurement process for the portfolio of communities. This gives us improved leverage. We have also been provided PPE by local OEM
My facility does not mandate the use of gowns or goggles. We are allowed a surgical mask at beginning of shift. We do not have access or have never been fitted for N95 even when working with COVID +. At best we were offered an ill-fitting KN95.
PPE is kept in an office on another floor with the office closed after 4pm. If we need PPE, we must page the person on call and wait for that person to get back in touch with us.  Very inconvenient.
PPE is not an issue
I am currently ordering and experiencing no difficulties at this tine
N/A
We were told to reuse everything. The management received fresh PPE frequently
We are decontaminating n95 masks that are not the best fit to begin with due to shortages of the ones we were fit tested for.  They UV light them and return them three times, then we throw them away.  They smell horrible after being processed. Makes me feel unsafe.
PPE is readily accessible when requested.
I was fitted for the duck mask for PPE which they do not provide!
We are now having more access to gowns. We wear a surgical mask throughout our shift. However, they told us that we can’t use their N95 anymore because they are “saving it for the second wave.” Many nurses felt unsafe not using the N95. Nursing leadership made rounds to make sure that nurses did not use their N95 because they say that they need it for the second wave coming in the fall. They also tried forcing nurses to sign a waiver that stated that the nurse could not sue the hospital if she brought her own N95 from home and got sick with COVID 19. It didn’t make sense and some nurses did not sign it. So as of now we are just wearing a surgical mask and nothing else.
Definitely a shortage, but has gotten better since the pandemic started
All N95s have been pulled back and we have no access to any at this time. Patients are not all screened for COVID upon admission to the hospital. Just procedural or those with symptoms. We are worried we are being exposed to asymptomatic patients.
Scary that we have not been provided with adequate PPE in order to protect ourselves, our patients, and the community as a whole. This pandemic has shown how flawed the entire system is. It is my hope that certain measures will be taken to avoid this from happening again.
As COVID swab nurse at my facility that has the largest volume of COVID in the state, N95 and face shield use is mandated one item indefinitely. Even when soiled or straps broken, we are given a very difficult time to receive replacement.  There are times we are denied N95 for PT care of pos. Patients yet hospital insists if we are pos for COVID, it is our fault for not donning and doffing properly or that we got COVID because we did not social distance outside the hospital.  Huge culture of denial of nurses being exposed and occupational health admitting it is due to lack of PPE.
I am a home care nurse.  I am required to wear a mask while working with patients for 8 – 12 hours at a time.  I have to request a replacement mask from my supervisor.  I feel these should be readily available in the patient’s home.  This is far different from what we were told in acute care facilities about wearing a mask for extended periods of time.
I purchased my own masks because I could not rely on my employer. Things have improved with supply, but we still have patient care staff using cloth masks which is unacceptable
No PPE issues. Available on demand.
I am school nurse and I was informed by my supervisor that PPE suppliers were back order. I am not sure if by September we will receive what we need.
I have not taken a COVID patient the past two weeks however my facility has been supplying us well with surgical masks and even goggles for work.
We are currently being refit for N95’s. The straps are completely stretched out by the end of 1 shift!!!The mask itself feels of less quality and feels less secure on my face. We are required to wear this full shift x 3 days. We will have this mask solely within the next few weeks. I am concerned for my safety.
PPE supplies fluctuate week to week. Burn rates are inconsistent and do not match projections causing issues. The organization does not support elastomeric respirators and the use of PAPRs is a big debated between physicians and the infection prevention teams.
just the unknowing if someone is positive testing with rapid testing
We have come very close to being out of PPE, but it has never happened that I needed PPE and it was not available. My facility has bent over backwards to make sure nurses and other caregivers have the PPE we need
The process for PPE changed every day. There was so much uncertainty that it made you wonder what the right thing was to do.
N95 masks are delivered to our unit in a box each shift, and all staff must sign out a mask when we take one. We are allowed one mask per day. Some wear their mask for the entire shift while others place the mask in a paper bag between uses. Face shields are used until they’re broken. These are washed with either soap and water or a “vinegar” spray between uses and are stored in paper bags in a plastic bin or the staff’s locker between uses. It’s isn’t PPE, but thick plastic that is typically used to block construction debris is currently being used to create doors on our patient rooms. It is secured with heavy tape and zippers along the sides for entry. This allowed all of the rooms on our unit to be converted to airborne isolation rooms. When holes have been made in the plastic, it is fixed by covering them with either medical tape, foam dressings, or duct tape. Besides looking terrible, I don’t think the plastic can be cleaned effectively. Also, we’re not allowed to use tape to hang signs because it is an infection control issue so I don’t understand why it is acceptable to use tape on only one side of the plastic to fix a hole.
We have open access to surgical masks – however the boxes explicitly say they are not medical grade. We have open access to gowns – however, sometimes they are plastic raincoats which are also not medical grade. We are required to reuse our N95 TEN times before getting another – which is concerning since these are supposed to be single use.   We have availability to PPE, but how safe is it really? All of the PPE we’re given is not for medical use. So instead of focusing on our patient care, you cannot help but wonder if you’re going to be exposed to this virus.
PPE still essential in the setting area even I feel less quickly response or move that without them.
Since the outbreak of the recent COVID-19 pandemic, I have acquired 36 children as now home care patients. I work at a Medical Daycare, and when the state came in and shut us down, these patients transitioned and are now assessed via telemedicine or within their homes. Going in and out of these children’s homes has made the importance of PPE and the proper usage is of the utmost importance.  Luckily for me, my boss ensured adequate stock of PPE back in the beginning of March. Now here we are at the end of July, and I have never had a problem with adequate supply of proper PPE. Proper usage of PPE is what Is important, and the misuse of PPE by the mass populations is the problem at hand in my opinion. Unless you are properly trained on how to use PPE, then don’t abuse it, and waste it!!! Proper PPE use is imperative to the safety and wellbeing of our medically fragile youth, and elderly, as well as us healthcare providers. If we continue to condone the misuse of PPE, then we too are at fault for any and all PPE shortages. Don’t let the mass population waste medical supplies when the situation is unwarranted. Wash your hands and follow simple hygiene procedures that were taught to us all in kindergarten. This is what will help to stop the spread of bacteria and viruses by the mass populations, not the abuse of PPE which is much needed for healthcare providers like us.
Policy in place for mask, gown and face shields……all of which are in short supply– this is a huge ongoing concern. Also- I am concerned about viral particles being dispersed in the air and landing in our hair. Shouldn’t we have head coverings? Yet not supplied.
I am a nurse educator and have sufficient masks and PPE to demonstrate to students.
Unsafe!!
We are given new surgical face mask each shift we work. N-95 masks are properly fitted but are expected to be used for at least a week and stored in a brown paper bag in the department between shifts. Full face shields have been provided to each staff member and are to be cleaned by staff members between uses. Disposable gowns are now readily available and no longer intended to be reused or shared
Most equipment is available but not of good quality.  The gowns rip down the arms and break proper doffing technique. The surgical masks are flimsy. Our N95s can be decontaminated up to 10 times but cannot be decontaminated if any spec of mucus or dirt is on the mask. This leaves me unable to send it for decontamination and then to be somewhat made to feel guilty and given a hard time when asking for another. So, I keep my same N95 and use ultraviolet light and antiviral/antibacterial wipes on them.
We had a gown shortage but that has resolved. We all wear surgical masks but need to reuse them until they are dirty/falling apart. We all wear eye protection if we are with patients. Have plenty of that. Have plenty of gloves. N95’s are used on the COVID units and have to be re-used after decontaminating in our special brown lunch bags.
PPE is available for usage at all times since mid-April. The supply is given according to my need to see patient who is diagnosed with COVID-19. My facility has been working to ensure employees and patients are safe during visits. Employees are expected to take the necessary precautions and be safe and patient are expected to cooperate.
We are encouraged to use one N-95 throughout the shift and then discard it. We have a new gown for each entry into an isolation room, we are just encouraged to conserve them. We are given a surgical mask when reporting for duty and can replace it whenever necessary.
As a new agency nurse, I was never offered a mask, be it surgical or n95. I was not given report of COVID status of patients on the unit or if any had pending COVID tests. Only after I asked the nursing supervisor for a mask was I provided with a surgical mask. I was told you are allotted 1 surgical mask a week.
I work in the cath lab.  All Of our outpatients are tested for COVID 3 days before cath.  All in pts are tested too. The Emergency patients are asked questions regarding exposure etc. some are tested but we do the case knowing that fact.  The nurses all wear N95 plus a mask over and eye protection.  We have a COVID room for positive cases and use one extra staff member to get supplies.  Overall, not a problem getting PPE.   Done staff was pulled during high number weeks but all have returned,
I’m an ENT provider.  I’m not comfortable with the protocol for outpatient visits nor the difficulty obtaining the PPE I require.
When gowns were available, they were washable, and we were given one gown to wear per shift for all of our patients – not even one gown for each patient

the goggles we use do not fit well over glasses and fall off at times. we are expected to use N95 masks and then place in a paper bag when not in use during shift. They are then sterilized; I believe up to three times. we are expected to reuse shields indefinitely. we keep them in bags in the nurses’ lounge, but there are new ones available in the storeroom.

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