Infected people also have to work in the hospital – news

According to one employee, employees in the cantonal hospital of St. Gallen have to continue working positively. Even though there is no shortage of staff.

Despite a positive corona test, a nurse has to continue working in the St. Gallen hospital. With her colleague Aurelia *, this shakes her head. Not only is it risky, but also unnecessary. At the moment there are enough staff: “We are currently working in pairs instead of the usual three.”

Because employees have to cut overtime and generate minus hours. In the event of a rush, this could work up to 60 hours a week, explains Aurelia. The St. Gallen Hospital has already requested short-time work for some departments, as an internal letter to the employees shows from April 1st.

Go back to work without symptoms

Nobody works with Corona in her own team, says Aurelia. She found out about the case because she had to help out in another department. The affected nurse became infected in a patient who was found too late to have Corona. “Then she got two days off and got the positive test result during that time.”

Because the employee had no symptoms, she had to come back to work after two days. “She doesn’t feel comfortable with it,” explains Aurelia. The team members of the sick nurse also had a bad feeling about the matter: “We do not understand why the sick colleague has to come while someone healthy is staying at home.”

Wear a mask for ten days

The hospital stipulates in the guidelines that sick employees with mild symptoms and without fever should isolate themselves for 48 hours. Thereafter, work must be resumed, “if possible, wearing a surgical mask for ten days since the onset of symptoms”.

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The hospital is thus following the recommendation of Swissnoso, the national center for infection prevention. This recommends that sick health workers continue to work with a mask. This is to ensure the care and safety of patients in the event of an acute shortage of staff.

Recommendation is only an emergency solution

According to the BAG, sick people should not work. The Swissnoso recommendation is an emergency solution for the extraordinary situation due to the corona virus. This should “not be used as long as the care and safety of patients can be guaranteed otherwise”.

But there is still no shortage of staff at the St. Gallen hospital: “Because of the lack of medical interventions, there are currently over 300 beds available. We therefore encourage the staff to cut overtime if possible,” it says on request.

“If someone has a cold, he can work”

Philipp Lutz, media spokesman for the cantonal hospital, defends the hospital’s approach: “If someone has a mild cold, work can continue. It makes no sense to employ personnel who do not know what is going on.”

The standard measures would ensure that the patients were protected. “There is therefore no increased transmission risk,” said the spokesman. “In addition, we have to assume that – like all hospitals – we also have medical staff with an undetected Covid infection,” says Lutz.

But the BAG guidelines clearly state that sick people should only work in extreme emergencies. And Andreas Widmer, President of Swissnoso, says: “The St. Gallen guidelines obviously do not meet our recommendations.”

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