A Breakdown of ANA Survey Findings
Frequent respirator reuse, sometimes for prolonged periods
- Fifty-one percent of nurses surveyed treated a patient testing positive for COVID-19 or was suspected of having COVID-19 in the past two weeks.
- Nurses are most likely to treat COVID in hospitals of all sizes.
- Forty-two percent of all respondents have experienced shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) (down slightly from 45% in a May ANA survey).
- Of those experiencing shortages, 16% said the shortages were widespread (down from 21% in May).
- Twenty-six percent experienced intermittent shortages of PPE (up from 24% in May).
- The greatest shortages were claimed in long-term care, hospice, and with staff nurses.
- Fifty-three percent of nurses say the PPE situation is the “same” or “worse” since May, while 42% or nurses say it has improved.
- Shortages varied greatly based on type of PPE, with N95s in shortest supply.
- Thirty-seven percent say they are “out” or “short” of N95 masks (down from 42% in May).
- The greatest N95 shortages were in long-term care, home health, and hospice.
- Shortages in other PPE were lower: goggles, 25%; face shields, 23%; gowns, 22%; elastomeric respirator, 18%; and surgical masks, 16%.
- Although two-thirds of nurses say their N95 fit appropriately, 24% say it did not.
- Sixty-eight percent of nurses say their facility requires re-use of N95 masks, with 88% saying re-use is “required” or “encouraged.”
- The number of facilities requiring re-use rose from 62% in May to 68% in August, while “required” or “recommended” rose from 79% in May to 88% in August.
- Nurses in hospitals of all sizes and staff nurses are most likely to say their facility requires re-use of N95 masks.
- For those reusing N95 masks, 62% feel very or somewhat unsafe, which represents a 3% increase from the May survey.
- Thirty-five percent feel very unsafe with reused masks (up 1% since May).
- Twenty-seven percent feel somewhat unsafe with reused masks (up 2% since May).
- Those feeling most unsafe work in large/medium hospitals and are staff nurses.
- Nurses re-using N95 masks are re-using them many times.
- Fifty-eight percent of nurses say they re-use N95 masks five days or more (up 15% since May).
- Fourteen percent say they re-use N95s more than two weeks.
- Re-use of N95 five days or more happened most often in long-term care, ambulatory, home health, and hospice facilities.
- A similar number of nurses said their facility was decontaminating N95 masks (38%) than said they were not (41%). This represents a slight downward shift from May, when 43% were decontaminating and 38% were not decontaminating.
- Most likely to decontaminate are large/medium and small hospitals and staff nurses.
- Fifty-five percent of nurses who said their facility was decontaminating N95 masks felt somewhat or very unsafe by the practice, which is up slightly from 53% in May.
- Most likely to feel unsafe with decontamination are nurses in large/medium hospitals, military/VA, and, especially, staff nurses.
- The most popular method of decontamination was ultraviolet light, followed by vaporized hydrogen peroxide. Half of nurses were not sure of the method used.
- American Nurses Association. PPE Survey #2 Final Report. Sept. 1, 2020.
A recent survey of 21,503 nurses by the American Nurses Association revealed key findings on personnel equipment and practices during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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