The fall of 2020 has continued to bring challenges for the health care sector as cases of COVID 19 continue to climb in Canada and around the world. At the time of this bulletin Manitoba is elevating the Pandemic Response System in each area of the province. Please ensure you are familiar with the region in which you live and/or work by reviewing the Pandemic Response System here.
We have been receiving calls at the office regarding physiotherapists who are not wearing PPE during client interactions. The PPE requirements have not changed since July of 2020 for physiotherapists. We continue to encourage registrants to be diligent and remember that:
- Physiotherapists arerequired to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which includes masks that are of a surgical or procedural quality and eye protection at all times when providing care.
- While your clients may wear cloth masks, Cloth masks worn by physiotherapists treating clients is not permitted.
Please see the link here for guidance on the removal, storage and extended wear of face masks.
The following are a few of the frequently asked questions:
Do I need to wear eye protection?
Yes. If you are providing direct care.
Registrants are reminded that you must continue to wear eye protection which includes face shields, goggles or safety glasses. Protective eyewear is described by Shared Health to be “face shields, eye goggles or safety glasses”. Regular eye glasses are not considered to be protective eyewear.
While eye protection can be warm and uncomfortable, droplet contact precautions requires you to cover your mucous membranes – including your eyes, as these are the points of concern with both direct and indirect transmission. – source shared health ppe requirements.
Shared Health has not provided any further specifications or guidance about any of these products.
What do I do if my patient refuses to wear a mask?
- Check the public health order in your area. Ensure you a familiar with the Pandemic Response system level in your jurisdiction and what the public health order requires in that area. (i.e. Are masks mandatory in your region?)
- Ensure that the client is reminded about the need to wear a mask at the first point of contact – when they make the appointment. If they say that they can not wear a mask – have a plan. Determine the risk(s) to other staff and patients in your clinic. Work with the client to find alternative ways to deliver the service such as offering an alternative appointment time to minimize exposure to others at either the end or beginning of your day or offer a virtual appointment if they are unable to wear a mask.
Additionally, Shared Health has produced a poster you may find useful. Physical Distancing and Non-Medical Mask use in Non-Patient Areas may be of use in areas of your workplace.
Do I need to wear a gown or gloves?
The use of gowns and gloves are used in specific circumstances. Please see previous Bulletins for further information on this.
For a review on how to safely don and doff PPE please see the link and videos below:
- How to safely don and doff PPE (March 17, 2020)
There are also excellent resources on the Shared Health website for skin protection and extended use of PPE. These include:
- Prevention and management of skin injury from PPE (Sept. 2, 2020)
- Tips for prevention of skin injury poster (May 15, 2020)
- Tips for extended PPE use
As a general reminder:
- Continue to screen your clients prior to their appointments
- Handwashing and the use of sanitizers is still required.
- Stay home when you are ill, even mildly ill.
Together we can impact the spread of COVID 19.
As always, stay safe, and stay well.