In a recent interview with WABE in Atlanta, Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, discussed the importance of face mask use in slowing down the ongoing pandemic (Goodnough & Sheikh, 2020). New data about COVID-19 displayed increasingly high rates of transmission from individuals that showed no symptoms. Those that were infected, in some cases, took a full two days before showing any indications of the coronavirus.

Masks such as the N-95 respirator mask work to stop fluids from the infected individual’s nose or mouth from spewing and possibly spreading the virus to others (Goodnough & Sheikh, 2020). As a preventative measure, to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak, it is essential to know how to properly wear and remove an N-95 mask.

N-95 masks are in great demand by healthcare workers who must wear them when caring for a person who has a presumed or documented positive case of the virus. This article will provide step-by-step directions on how to properly use an N-95 mask for healthcare workers.

Steps for Putting on an N-95 Mask

Step 1: Use your dominant hand to cup the mask. The straps should be freely hanging.

Step 2: Place the mask over your nose and mouth. Make sure to firmly push the nose clip that is found on the mask over your nose and to have the bottom portion of the mask over your chin.

Step 3: With your non-dominant hand, take the top strap and place it so that it is fitting on the top portion of your head (your dominant hand should still be holding your mask in place).

Step 4: Now take the bottom strap with your non-dominant hand and place it on the bottom of the neck (the base of the neck).

Step 5: Heavily breathe in and out to check for any air leaks.

Steps for Taking off an N-95 Mask

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not touch the front of the mask. This part of the mask could be contaminated. The straps are safer to touch for removal.

Step 1: Tilt your head so that it is slightly angled forward.

Step 2: With both of your index fingers, grab the bottom strap first and slowly pull it over your head.

Step 3: You can now remove the top strap. Try to prevent from touching the front of the mask when doing so.

Step 4: Dispose of your mask

If an Ardent patient is suspected of having the virus or has been diagnosed with it, his or her nurse will wear an N95 mask, as well as the rest of the personal protective equipment (face shield, gown, gloves, etc.) this situation demands.  The health and safety of our staff is paramount to our continued delivery of excellent care to our patients and families.

 

References:

Goodnough, A., & Sheikh, K. (2020, March 31). C.D.C. Weighs Advising Everyone to Wear a Mask. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/31/health/cdc-masks-coronavirus.html

RegisteredNurseRN. (2018, December 4). How to Don and Doff N-95 Mask (Respirator). Retrieved from https://www.registerednursern.com/how-to-don-and-doff-n-95-mask-respirator/

CDC website https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/hcwcontrols/recommendedguidanceextuse.html

 

Contributed by: Dianne Lee