Your Role with COVID-19
Your Role with COVID-19
Disclaimer: The following is opinion based information and you should do your own research and provide services as you feel comfortable doing so.
When working during the COVID-19 pandemic your thought process and the way you are living your life will start earlier than usual. Not only will you have to account for a window of time when the baby may arrive, you will need to thing about your health behaviors as well prior to the arrival of the baby and your contract start date. We included a lot of questions to think about and discuss with your client, which will affect your movements prior to the start of your assignment with a family. Most clients are asking the NCS to self-isolate prior to the start of the assignment or to get tested 24-48 hours prior to the start. Depending on your location getting tested with zero symptoms can come with a long wait period so you may need to plan accordingly.
If you are living with a roommate or spouse this can become an issue if they have a job that requires them to work outside of the home or in a high risk environment. Some clients will ask you to live-in during the duration of the assignment to avoid any roommate or spouse contamination even though it is not a 24 hour assignment. If this is required ensure you have information in your contract about your off hours even though you will be living in.
Once you begin your assignment you should take your temperature at least once a day. Consider changing into fresh clothes prior to departing for your shift. You should wash your hands immediately upon entering their home. We would even suggest carrying Lysol wipes and wipe your phone and other personal items and then proceed to hand washing. The CDC recommends you wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
Some clients will also require that you wear a mask while you are on shift. Some clients will provide a nightly mask while others will require you bring your own. Disposable masks are one time use only and should be discarded after your shift. Homemade masks should be washed after each shift. Some clients will only require that you wear your mask while in direct contact with the baby and others from the moment you walk in the door to the moment you depart and this should be discussed prior to your shift is mask wearing is required.
Glove wearing has not been shown to be effective according to the CDC.
Wearing gloves outside of these instances (for example, when using a shopping cart or using an ATM) will not necessarily protect you from getting COVID-19 and may still lead to the spread of germs. The best way to protect yourself from germs when running errands and after going out is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
If you are providing care to someone who is sick at home or in another non-healthcare setting
- Use disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting the area around the person who is sick or other surfaces that may be frequently touched in the home.
- Use disposable gloves when touching or having contact with blood, stool, or body fluids, such as saliva, mucus, vomit, and urine.
- After using disposable gloves, throw them out in a lined trash can. Do not disinfect or reuse the gloves.
- Wash your hands after you have removed the gloves.
Upon leaving for your shift in the morning you should proceed directly to your residence. If you need any personal items you should utilize drive up services or delivery services to refrain from being in public spaced during the duration of your contract.
You will want to ensure you have discussed social isolation vs social distancing with your client. If your client has requested that they want you to self isolate between your shifts, you would not be leaving your home for any reason unless you were utilizing a drive up service for personal items. This would also be the case for anyone that is living within your home. Social distancing is more flexible and only requires that you are being socially distant from others when you are in public spaces (among other items like hand-washing and wearing a mask). There is a big difference between the two and you want to ensure you have discussed this with your client.
For Newborn Care Specialists who take several smaller assignments you will want to discuss whether or not the client is comfortable with you working for multiples families at time. Traditionally a NCS might work 2-3 nights with one family and 2-3 nights with another family to create a full week of work. Some families are comfortable with the NCS working with one additional client as long as they are taking similar precautions, other will flat out let you know that they would not allow it. You may have to decline 2-3 night contracts during this time to ensure you are able to have enough hours in a week.
This COVID-19 is continually evolving and our role as an NCS will likely never be 100% the way it use to for some time. If you have any questions regarding COVID 19 please reach out to us and we will do our best to help you navigate through this time.