What does an N95 Mask mean to Nursing Assistants and society?

Nursing assistants are people who work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities when dealing with patients. Nursing assistants are in direct contact with patients, so patients who are battling the flu or other airborne diseases must wear masks and gloves. While high-protection masks may not always be comfortable to wear and can cause discomfort and indentation to nurses, they still offer many benefits to nurses and the patients they serve, including the following.
Nursing assistants wear N95 masks when they are in the presence of patients who may have airborne illnesses. N95 masks are better than general surgical masks because they filter 95% of particles in the air, compared to about 75% for other masks. That means the N95 mask has a better filter and is safer to wear, as it protects a nursing assistant’s lungs from airborne diseases like the flu or chicken pox.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all healthcare workers who may have come into contact with patients with MERS, SARS, or similar respiratory illnesses use respirators when caring for such patients in U.S. hospitals, medical facilities, and healthcare facilities. This includes doctors, nurses and others, such as nursing assistants who come into contact with patients during the course of their work.

What do Nursing Assistants do in their job
Nursing Assistants, also known as Nurse Aides, are not nurses. Their job is to help nurses with their daily tasks in hospitals and health care facilities. The job role of Nursing Assistants varies depending on their location, but it usually involves light housekeeping and food service. They may also assist in caring for patients by performing various personal care tasks such as bathing and dressing. They’re also tasked with recording vital signs, such as blood pressure and temperature from patients to maintain an accurate patient record.

Sad news:
According to the report from National Nurses United (NNU), that figure includes more than 200 nurses. Of the nurses who have died, a disproportionate number (60%) were people of color compared to the approximately one-quarter of registered nurses in the U.S. who are people of color, the report said.
More than 1,700 U.S. healthcare workers have died from COVID-19 in severe 2020: nursing assistants across various hospitals and healthcare facilities are at risk for contracting serious diseases such as tuberculosis (TB), influenza, and others due to their contact with COVID-19.

The importance of PPE to nurses
If nurses are not wearing PPE, or proper personal protective equipment, it could cause a disease to spread much more quickly and to more patients than if there were no nurses wearing it. Nurses should wear face masks to keep them safe while they are helping others. Many facilities require nursing assistants to wear masks due to how important they are to preventing diseases from spreading.

The importance of N95 to nurses
N95 masks can help protect workers from contracting any illnesses that are contracted from patients at work. They also help keep these sick illnesses from being spread to family and friends. Nurses especially need to wear N95 masks to protect them from getting sick on their shift and infecting others. Therefore, it is important for all nurses to wear N95 masks while working so they can ensure patient safety as well as their own health.

What does an N95 Mask mean to Nursing Assistants and society?
N95 masks, N95 surgical mask or high level N99 masks must be worn whenever Nursing Assistants enter a room containing a patient infected with airborne diseases such as tuberculosis or measles. By wearing an N95 mask, Nursing Assistants are protected from any blood splatter or other bodily fluids that may come into contact with their face or mouth. This is incredibly important because Nursing Assistants serve as gatekeepers for infectious diseases—if you can stop them from getting sick, it can mean saving countless lives.

It is important that Nursing Assistants continue to wear the appropriate protective equipment and ensure their own safety. With the latest outbreak of Ebola, we have seen a first-hand result of not following correct protocols and wearing proper protection. We must learn from the misery of 2020. It is equally important that those in positions to enact change understand the importance of protecting their employees by providing them with protective equipment such as N95 respirators. There is nothing to lose except death if one does not take precaution against infectious diseases like Ebola.

In the face of the misery of 2020, we must learn from our past mistakes. We must utilize nursing assistants to help keep patients safe during outbreaks. We must require all nursing assistants to wear N95 masks at all times. We must not let ourselves become complacent about these issues, but continue to work for a better future. If we don’t act now, we will suffer through the same devastation that rocked America in 2020. It’s time to do something about it.

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