In the wake of the spreading Coronavirus, Gundersen Health System held a special training Tuesday to help prepare staff to care for infected patients.
The information was available for not only Gundersen staff but also community members who wished to learn more about COVID 19.
“It is just reassuring for them,” Megan Meller, infection control practitioner at Gundersen Health System, said. “We’re also in between offering hands-on training sessions. It’s really giving people a time to ask those one-on-one questions and try on their personal protective gear in a very calm environment truly feel prepared for when it does come turn come to our community.”
Meller noted a key priority is to protect the health care workers who will be caring for those infected with the virus.
“In addition to travelers, they are some of the most at-risk people,” Meller said. “We can’t lose staff to this.”
The training highlighted infection control techniques such as hand hygiene and enforcing the hospital’s sick protocol.
Patients that enter the facility with respiratory symptoms will be encouraged to first call ahead or check in using the app.
“We’re fortunate that patients are calling in,” Meller said. “With the app, they can check in right before they get into the clinic. That is really going to help minimize some of that exposure that might happen within the lobby. It also gives staff a heads up as to what is potentially coming in.”
Staff will also ask those with respiratory concerns to wear a droplet mask that will be available at all entrances. Symptoms of COVID 19 tend to mirror influenza, according to Meller, so they will test for Coronavirus while also testing for influenza.
Anyone who does have a cough is asked to cough into their elbow. Meller said the virus does not live long on fabric, but experts are still determining how long it will live on hard surfaces.