The University of Southern Maine’s Cutler Institute has developed a no-cost, web-based training program on the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) by workers in various care settings, including outpatient medical offices, dental care offices, long-term care facilities, acute care facilities, and direct care. Funded by OSHA, the training focuses on the safety of the worker and addresses the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommended donning and doffing procedures for PPE. Proper techniques are crucial to prevent the spread of infectious disease to workers on the front-lines of patient and client care.
Healthcare workers and direct care workers are at risk of infectious disease through patient/client contact and contact with the care environment. Employers are required to train workers about the necessity of PPE, including how to use it, put it on, remove it, and safely dispose of it. The training includes these strategies and techniques so that workers can protect themselves against these serious workplace safety hazards. There are versions available for both clinical and non-clinical staff. Some of the topics covered include:
- The correct use of protective barriers including protective eyewear, masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves.
- Choosing PPE that is appropriate for the task or situation.
- Understanding the risk of transmitting potentially harmful pathogens between the patient and the healthcare staff.
- Proper care, maintenance, useful life, and disposal of personal protective equipment.
This training is important, now more than ever. While the training is not specific to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have provided links to the current and evolving guidance from CDC regarding PPE use during the pandemic. Please help us to promote it through your newsletters, blogs, social media, email blasts or any other way you communicate with the outpatient/medical office workforce. Attached is an image for your use along with a flyer that may be shared widely.
The training is available at: www.maineinfectionpreventionforum.org
For more information, contact Dr. Judy Tupper at firstname.lastname@example.org.