With COVID-19, Are You Protected in Your Health Care Workplace?

If you are a physician, nurse or medical assistant, you could be tasked with providing treatment to someone who possibly or actually has Coronavirus. Do you have the proper protection and safety measures in place to handle this? More specifically, does your employer have these measures?

With the number of positive COVID-19 cases rising nationwide, the health care law attorneys at Chapman Law Group have been fielding questions from many clients as of late about Coronavious regarding safety and exposure in the health care environment.

In this brief video, Chapman Law Group founder, president and CEO Ronald Chapman Sr. discusses what you as a health care provider should do when your employer wants you to treat a suspected Coronavirus patient — and you are not given the proper protective gear or a reasonably safe workplace to do so.

Three Steps to Follow in the Workplace

In this video, Ron discusses a three-step process to determine whether your state of health and the health care environment where you work could become problematic:

  • Your health: Do you have underlying conditions like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, type 1 diabetes or hypertension that could put you at serious risk? Are you 65 years old or older? These elements factor into the reasonableness of whether you should be in that environment.
  • The work environment: What is the danger zone you’re expected to go into? Are you diagnosing or treating someone who is or could be positive for COVID-19?
  • What the law says: Generally, in all U.S. states the law says an employer has a duty to provide you a reasonably safe workplace. Is that what is at play in your environment? Are you being given the right protective equipment?

Ron further explains how to approach your employer if you believe you are not being provided with a reasonably safe work environment, as well as the importance of documenting each step you take in doing so.

What the CDC and FDA Say About Protective Gear

Two federal documents discuss protective gear and clothing for health care professionals. We have provided a downloadable executive summary on these memos.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a memo on selecting work clothing that will protect against microorganisms in blood and body fluid. It covers barrier properties, differences between gowns and coveralls, current health care standards and specifications, and performance requirements for protective clothing.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently released guidelines for health care providers on how to conserve surgical masks and gowns, as the possibility looms that demand could outpace supply. This paper covers how to safely conserve your mask and gown stock if your practice is at a limited or crisis level.

What You Can Do If You Need Help

Our health care lawyers at Chapman Law Group are here to answer your questions about compliance, regulatory matters, workplace safety and the law as it applies to the COVID-19 outbreak. Contact us today so we can assist in keeping you safe while you help others stay safe.

Need an Attorney? Contact us now!

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Ronald W. Chapman Sr., M.P.A., LL.M.

Founding Shareholder

President & CEO

All Offices – Main Office Sarasota
6841 Energy Court
Sarasota, FL 34240
Phone: (941) 893-3449

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