The Importance of Respiratory Protection for Oncology Nurses
Oncology nurses are at an increased risk of exposure to airborne hazards when they’re administering cytotoxic treatments and caring for immunosuppressed patients that are susceptible to resistant infections. Airborne transmission occurs through small particles or droplet nuclei that remain in the air for extended periods of time. Healthcare organizations are expected to provide sufficient respiratory protection for workers potentially exposed to infectious organisms and hazardous agents.
What You Wear Matters When It Comes to Safety
“Hey, you didn’t dress up for me today. Where’s your pretty blue dress?”
At first I wasn’t sure what the patient in the chemotherapy chair was talking about. After a moment, I realized the patient was referring to the blue safety gowns we wear. I heard the infusion nurse respond as she removed the chemotherapy from the hazard bag, “Oh yeah, I’m kind of in a hurry today.”
While the patient could possibly benefit from the chemotherapy, for the nurse that same drug posed a serious hazard.