We are aware of the crisis currently affecting Ireland and the rest of the world. As healthcare professionals, you are on the frontline working with the vulnerable populations that have been identified – e.g. older people 60+; people with pre-existing conditions (heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer or high blood pressure), and those with weak immune systems. As the State health authorities continue to monitor the situation and direct the general public on a course of action, we have laid out the following guidelines in accordance to state mandates, recommended practice, and for the health and safety of our good people.
We will continue to update all Goodpeople personnel as further information from the HSE becomes available.
This guidance applies to all healthcare settings including primary, secondary, tertiary care and ambulance service.
Further information on all the guidelines below can be accessed on the Health Services Executive website.
COVID19 is considered a novel virus not previously seen in humans. It was first identified in December and since then has spread across the globe. It is from the same large family of viruses (coronaviruses) that caused Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS).
Identified Symptoms of COVID19 in order of occurrence include:
Based on the first 99 reported cases, radiological changes such as bilateral pneumonia and multiple mottling and ground-glass opacity may also occur. as well as pneumothorax; and acute respiratory distress is also possible.
‘Severe’ disease classified as:
COVID-19 spreads from person to person, usually due to direct contact (body fluids e.g. droplets from coughing or sneezing) with a person already infected with the virus. Or indirectly through contact with contaminated surfaces. It is still not known how long COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces, although current information suggests the virus may survive a few hours. Simple household disinfectants can kill the virus.
People may be infectious with no symptoms
How to Stop the Spreading:
These guidelines are especially important in your line of work.
Use proper hand hygiene
Practice respiratory etiquette
Maintain social distancing
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
Pay attention to your own risk levels and conduct regular risk self-assessments. The HSE has provided this chart for healthcare personnel risk assessment.
Take some time to familiarize yourself with HSE Recommendations And Guidelines for Healthcare personnel.
Most healthcare facilities have already instituted protective measures that may include the appropriate use of PPE as a last line of defence. Practice and maintain the recommended hierarchy of measures in every facility you attend. The hierarchy ranks controls according to their reliability and effectiveness and includes engineering controls, administrative controls, and ends with personal protective equipment (PPE). In the context of the risk of respiratory infection, PPE adds an extra layer of protection. But PPE does not cancel or remove the need to pay scrupulous attention to hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette, and environmental hygiene.
The requirement for PPE is based on the anticipated activities that are likely to be required.
The unnecessary use of PPE will deplete stocks and increases the risk that essential PPE will not be available for you and your colleagues when needed. This guidance DOES NOT RECOMMEND the use of surgical facemasks in situations other than for contact with patients with droplet transmitted infection including COVID-19.
Masks should only be worn in the following circumstances:
As a healthcare professional, you must follow these guidelines in every facility or healthcare setting, including group homes, patients’ homes, and care homes:
We understand that you may feel compelled to work for economic reasons, however, if you or someone in your family might have COVID19, DO NOT GO TO WORK.
Follow these guidelines instead:
The HSE has supports in place – Occupational Health - for healthcare professionals exposed to COVID19. That is why it is imperative that you keep Goodpeople informed of your status. If you have any questions or concerns contact us and/or Public Health for advice. Occupational Health should be updated on the outcome of this and the requirement for any monitoring/exclusion from work.
Occupational Health will be available to discuss fitness for work concerns with individual healthcare professionals, with the required consent of service management.
You should not work with Coronavirus patients if the following apply to you:
Goodpeople: Gerard 087 459 0738
Public Health: Available every day 8 am -8 pm
HSE E - 01 6352145
HSE NW - 071 9852900
HSE SE - 056 7784142
HSE S - 021 4927601
HSE W - 091 775200
HSE M - 057 9359891
HSE MW - 061 483337
HSE NE - 046 90764
Occupational Health Saturday/Sunday (8am -8pm): 087 619 7040