This week is Infection Control Week, taking place October 17-23, 2021 around the globe and supported by the Association for Professionals in infection Control and Epidemiology, who offer many helpful resources online. One helpful guide offered by APICE is how to wear a face mask, you will see this in the image below. It is now requested that people ensure a face covering or mask is worn when going outdoors – so here is a reminder of the right and wrong things to do with your mask .
It might seem obvious to most, but there are right and wrong ways to wear masks. Ormiston Hospital staff all wear masks while at work under Alert Level 3, which means we are now very familiar with what is best practice. Keeping your mask hygienic is crucial to your own safety, as well as the safety of those around you.
If you choose to wear a reusable mask be sure to wash it after every use and be careful with handling it. Our preference is with disposable masks, to ensure that they can easily safely be discarded once worn.
Follow these steps to ensure your mask is on correctly:
- Wash your hands before you put your mask on and after you take your mask off
- Only touch the ties or ear loops when putting your mask on
- Put mask on and ensure it covers your nose and mouth and sits snug under your chin
- If your mask has a metal wire, ensure this is at the top and sits over your nose, mold it to your nose so it sits comfortably
- Wash your cloth or reusable mask between uses especially if it is soiled
- Store your mask correctly in a clean environment
- Throw away disposable masks once they are worn
There are many WRONG ways to wear a masks, as seen in the picture above. If your mask is not covering your nose, mouth and snug under your chin, then something is going wrong. If you see someone wearing a masks incorrectly, politely let them know as some people many not be aware of a mask slipping or exposing them. IT is a common misconception that people think they cannot be heard through a mask – but if you speak clearly there is no trouble in hearing you. It is never a good idea to wear a mask that is faulty or loose fitting, this is why disposable masks work well as they often fit everyone and can be moulded wit ha metal wire accordingly. And remember not to touch your mask while you wear it!
Masks are a simple and easy way to keep yourself protected, so why not wear one! And if you are wearing one, please ensure you are doing so correctly.
We are mindful that a lot of our patients are now wearing masks, as well as our staff, and know that even though our mouths are covered we are still smiling at our wonderful patients!