Last week NPAQ’s State Secretary spoke to ABC about the importance of PPE fit testing for nurses after discovering this was not happening in some of QLD’s busiest hospitals.
NPAQ's President, Phill Tsingos spoke to John Anderson from the Townsville Bulletin on the shortage of PPE being experienced by many of Queensland's Private Hospitals.
The article below was published Saturday 2 May 2020.Read more
Mater Health, which runs eight hospitals across Queensland, ordered frontline doctors and nurses to reuse disposable face masks. The controversial practice has now been ditched after it was questioned by The Courier-Mail.
This situation is unprecedented and policies will vary throughout workplaces.
Follow the order of critical thinking for professional Nurses
Safety: protect yourself first. You cannot care for patients if you become unwell.
- If you feel safety is compromised ask your manager for the protocols then complete an incident form.
- If you are showing symptoms let your employer know and call 1800 020 080
Research : you are a Professional capable of researching the information to make an informed decision.
- Refer below to COVID-19 Government websites.
Family first : let your employer know if you need to be home to care for children, elderly etc.
- The Government is aware that 30% of healthcare workers will be unavailable.
- Leave entitlements : for quarantine, self-isolation, family reasons, or high-risk candidates.
- Ask and follow directives from your employer.
Protect yourself at work
Keep up to date with any training that is being distributed in the workplace.
Ensure that you are familiar with the correct procedure in dealing with tainted PPE: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0035/945755/covid19-correct-use-ppe.pdf
Please also note the QLD Government's directive about conservation of PPE: https://www.health.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0032/946373/covid19-ppe-conserving.pdf
When do you have the right to refuse a task?
If you believe your own personal health or safety is at risk.
What should I do if someone presents as positive with COVID-19 or with the known symptoms and no PPE is available?
Advise your line manager you will be observing 'social distancing' until you have been provided with suitable PPE.
Remember workplace safety and the Hierarchy of Hazard Control measures
What to do if symptoms are displayed?
IMPORTANT: If you have severe difficulty breathing, call triple zero (000) immediately and tell the call handler and the paramedics on arrival about your recent travel history and any close contact with a person with confirmed COVID-19.
QLD Health Employees
You may be directed to work from home if self-isolation is required. If you are not sick, you can access discretionary special leave through myHR. If you are required to perform the role of a carer for a dependant, you may be able to access carer's leave - note this will diminish your sick leave entitlements. As soon as you develop symptoms or become sick - contact your doctor to arrange an appointment. You will be required to then take sick leave. If you can prove that you have caught the illness in your direct line of work, please get in touch as you may be able to access WorkCover.
Private sector nurses
You may be directed to work from home if self-isolation is required. If you are not sick, the general rule is that you should be stood down on full pay. If you are required to perform the role of a carer for a dependant, you may be able to access carer's leave - note this will diminish your sick leave entitlements. If you do develop symptoms or become sick - contact your doctor to arrange an appointment. You will be required to then take sick leave. If you can prove that you have caught the illness in your direct line of work, please get in touch as you may be able to access WorkCover.
What is the NPAQ doing?
NPAQ is researching PPE and Test Kit suppliers and referring them to the Minister for Health.
Urgent request to Government for support of Nurses and Health Professionals
Worksafe / Workcover Queensland
Aged Care Restrictions and Vaccination FAQs
Federal Government Resources
JobKeeper Payment Information
RN Education :SURGE
Learn the necessary minimum knowledge and skills required to work in High Dependency or Critical Care settings, such as Intensive Care Units (ICU). https://medcast.com.au/surge-critical-care