Protecting yourself and others

Personal Protective Equipment training sessions

To support our patient-facing employees with the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) we will now be running daily training sessions across our sites. All sessions will demonstrate the correct application and removal sequence for PPE and associated procedures such as hand hygiene. The sessions will not use actual stock as we need to preserve this for clinical care, however physical simulation, support materials and tuition will provide full guidance.

PPE training will be available at the following times and locations.

Sessions extended to Saturday 30 May and Sunday 31 May at Clayton, Dandenong and Casey locations.

Face-to-face training

Time

Drop in PPE face to face sessions running hourly from Monday to Friday 9am to 4pm, 8 times a day across 5 campuses

Run by

Educators/PPE Super Users

Locations

  • Clayton – Lecture Theatre 1
  • Kingston – Education Building
  • Moorabbin – Café Annex
  • Casey – Monash Uni Hub
  • Dandenong – Physiotherapy Room L2 West

Please note

  • Drop-in site training sessions will follow the latest DHHS guidelines and measures on physical distancing (subject to venue capacity).
  • Sessions are open to all employees
  • Employees can attend sessions at any site that suits them

How it will work

Training will utilise and include the ‘Applying Personal Protective Equipment at Monash Health’ video, and completion of the ‘Infection Prevention Transmission Based Precautions’ on-line learning via LATTE (required training for Clinical Employees).

Links and resources

LATTE

Monash Health online learning

‘Achieving PPE Training Together’ is a presentation created by Katrina Nankervis, Executive Director Residential Care & Support Services / Chief Nursing & Midwifery Officer (Acting). Download this presentation to learn more about how and when to complete your Personal Protective Equipment training.

Personal Protective Equipment training

We are providing training in the use of PPE for employees in patient-facing roles. To ensure training is recorded it is vital that employees:

Monash Health has a Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Application and Removal procedure to ensure you feel confident to use clinical PPE correctly and safely at all times.

Levels of Personal Protective Equipment

If you are supporting a COVID-19 positive patient, different levels of PPE are required depending on the care you are delivering.

Monash Health has four tiers of PPE:

  • Tier 0 – Surgical masks for all patient contact
  • Tier 1 – Droplet and contact precautions
  • Tier 2 – Airborne and contact precautions
  • Tier 3 – Airborne and contact precautions (High risk)

Please review and share the personal protection documents below, and ensure you’re always using the correct PPE for the situation.

Use of surgical masks

There is some concern regarding the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and, in particular, surgical masks. Please read the following information carefully as it is critical in times of uncertainty to act on credible information. Our Medical Director Infection Prevention, Associate Professor Rhonda Stuart, outlines the facts for you below:

Key messages

  • Surgical masks protect health care workers against droplet contamination.
  • The benefits of continuous use of surgical masks for protection against unknown cases of COVID-19, and a reduced need to change when in COVID-19 wards, need to be balanced against the risk of overusing this vital resource and, paradoxically, increasing the risk of infection due to mask misuse, e.g., wearing around the neck, wearing while eating.
  • Employees may have a false sense of security that continuous mask use protects them against COVID-19, and this is simply not the case. More critical proven measures are scrupulous hand hygiene, recognising cases early, and using appropriate precautions, as well as physical distancing.
  • At this stage, we are following the latest guidelines set out by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) on 3 April 2020, for the use of surgical masks and other PPE.
  • You can read the full guidelines here, but in summary, they state:
    • All healthcare workers in high-risk areas – Intensive Care Units (ICU), Emergency Departments (ED), Coronavirus (COVID-19) wards, and Acute Respiratory Assessment clinics – are to wear surgical masks for all patient interactions. This is in addition to hand hygiene before and after glove use.
    • Unless damp or soiled, a surgical mask may be worn for the duration of a clinic or shift of up to four hours.
    • Masks and gloves are to be removed for breaks, disposed of appropriately, and then replaced with fresh stock.
  • Given the high throughput of patients and multiple presentations of those yet to be diagnosed, our EDs are now considered high-risk areas. To that end, the systematic use of masks for all patient encounters in our EDs is now an appropriate measure (this includes triage and clerking).
  • Employees in our ICUs, COVID-19-wards (when commenced) and Acute Respiratory Assessment clinics who are conducting aerosol-generating procedures will also be required to wear appropriate PPE in line with the guidelines.
  • Reminder: N95 masks must be used with covid and suspected covid patients during aerosol-generating procedures.
  • As the numbers of patients increase in the community and the hospital, the above guidelines will be revisited, and systematic use of masks may potentially be rolled out to wards outside of the currently identified high-risk areas.
  • The blanket use of masks and PPE, outside of regular infection control procedures, for areas outside of the high-risk areas is not necessary and will only result in using resources without benefit.

Aerosol-generating procedures

Airborne and contact precautions should be used for all AGPs involving COVID and Suspected COVID patients

Please review and share the Aerosol-Generating Procedures (AGPs) poster below.

The following PPE is to be used for AGPs:

  • P2/N95 respirator (mask) – fit-check with each use
  • eye protection (for example, safety glasses/goggles or face shield)
  • long-sleeved gown
  • gloves (non-sterile)
  • Total head covering is not required.

N95/P2 masks should be:

  • Discarded and replaced if contaminated with blood or bodily fluids
  • Discarded following the AGP
  • Replaced if it becomes hard to breathe through or if the mask no longer conforms to the face or loses its shape
  • Removed outside of patient care areas (e.g., between wards, break room, reception area) and are to be removed before proceeding to care for patients that are not isolated for coronavirus (COVID-19).

Keeping yourself safe – fast tips

General tips

  • You must be bare below the elbows when you are in clinical areas.
  • No jewellery or watches on your arms (a wedding band is acceptable).
  • Short nails without nail polish/gel/shellac/SNS etc.
  • No ties, lanyards, scarves etc.
  • Use the hand hygiene product regularly and do not forget your wrists.
  • Men – its time to get rid of the beard – if you have facial hair, you won’t be able to use an N95 mask properly (during aerosol-generating procedures) and will put yourself at increased risk.

Long-sleeved gowns

  • The gowns we are using have been in use for many years and are an effective part of PPE when appropriately used.
  • Some employees are finding the sleeves are a bit too short or a bit too wide. This is a low risk for COVID-19 transmission given the virus is transmitted via droplets.
  • We are working on sourcing long gloves to help cover any small gaps that may be present.
  • The most important thing is hand hygiene and to use the hand rub all the way up your wrist.

N95 masks

  • It is important that these are only used for COVID-19 or suspected COVID-19 patients when undertaking aerosol-generating procedures on high-risk patients.
  • We have ample supply of these masks, but want to preserve this precious resource for times when they are actually required.
  • Surgical masks are sufficient and appropriate for routine care of COVID-19 patients.

Head cover

  • Hairnets are not required during routine care of COVID-19 patients.
  • Tie back your hair and keep it off your face.
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