• 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.

Reference

  1. American Nurses Association. PPE Survey #2 Final Report. Sept. 1, 2020.