COVID-19 has changed the way we work and in many instances, our practices have changed. As a result, there are employees who are encountering allergic symptoms related to occupational allergy – such as a reaction to the use of masks. In response, the Allergy and Dermatology departments have developed an emergency telehealth clinic for Monash Health employees and guidance on mask comfort.
Allergy/Dermatology telehealth clinic
The telehealth clinic will be a drop-in clinic and will require a UR number. If you do not have a UR already, please complete this form and email it through to SMR support – SMRsupport@monashhealth.org. Please email the day prior to your clinic presentation.
The telehealth clinic will be open on 1.00-4.00pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for the next two weeks (28/7/2020 to 6/8/2020). The ongoing timing and days of the clinic will be reviewed based on clinical demand.
Initially this will be a self-referral process, meaning that a referral from a healthcare professional will not be required.
If the telehealth clinic reaches capacity on any day we will notify the waiting employees of this.
The specialist who sees you will document the consult in SMR and will write a letter to your GP after the consult. If a script is required, this will be sent to the Monash Health Pharmacy – with collection available at the Pharmacy departments of Monash Medical Centre (Clayton), Dandenong, Moorabbin or Casey Hospitals. If ongoing review by Dermatology is required, the specialist will send a referral to them, and for ongoing allergy review, you will need you to see your GP to access an ongoing referral.
Minimising mask discomfort
Here are some steps you can take to minimise discomfort when wearing a mask:
- Begin your shift with clean face, avoid make up
- Apply facial moisturiser to face >30 mins before shift
- Check the positioning of mask on face and over ears is correctly applied, and ensure there are no avoidable pressure areas
- Remove your mask every four hours for at least 15 mins.
The following protective products are recommended if required:
- Convatec Silesse: provides an invisible skin barrier to reduce irritation to the skin. The product is a single use towelette that can be applied to the nose, cheek bones and chin, lasts 72 hours, with no build up, and is easily removed. Convatex Silesse is available through site NCOs.
- Ear savers: removes the pressure behind the ears. To use, loop mask ear loops into hooks and apply mask as normal.
- Duoderm Thin or Mepilex Lite: used to protect skin and remove some pressure behind the ears. For use on and over ears, not on face, as this can impair the N95 mask seal and therefore your protection. Remains in place all day, low profile.
Download the Mask Comfort flow chart for further information
Approved by Rhonda Stuart