CUPE and the other health care unions (AAHP, NAPE, RNUNL, PARNL, and NLMA) have signed on to a joint statement with the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador which will guide how we use personal protective equipment (PPE) in health care settings.
The purpose of the joint statement on PPE is to ensure that all CUPE members have access to appropriate PPE as well as to ensure that all health care workers understand how PPE is to be utilized during the pandemic.
The statement gives health care workers who can perform a point-of-care risk assessment the ability to determine what type of PPE is necessary. A point-of-care risk assessment is performed by some health care workers as part of their specific practice standards. Licensed Practical Nurses, Registered Nurses, and other professional health care providers can perform this assessment. The worker assesses the risk of providing care by looking at the patient/client/resident, the location of care, the environment and other relevant considerations to determine what type of PPE is necessary.
A point-of-care risk assessment can be performed by those health care workers who have been trained to do so. For CUPE members, this will likely mean Licensed Practical Nurses.
If you work in a classification that does not have the ability to perform a point-of-care risk assessment you should consult the worker responsible for the direct care of the patient/client/resident to determine what PPE you require before interacting in any way with patients/clients/residents. You should also consult your supervisor to ensure that you know what the expectations are when you are working near patients/clients/residents.