As the coronavirus expands around the county, doctors and nurses working in emergency rooms are taking extra safety precautions after their shifts to ensure not only their safety, but the safety of their families.
Dr. Brian Roberts of Med Stop in San Luis Obispo has changed his post-shift process over the past few weeks.
“I head into the laundry room and I strip completely in the laundry room and I place those clothes in a designated basket just for that and then I go across the house to a hot tub we have on the deck,” he said.
Dr. Roberts adds that he understands that every healthcare worker may not have access to a hot tub or pool after work, so he suggests taking a hot shower after each shift.
He also says that in recent weeks he has tried to eliminate physical contact with his wife.
“I can’t remember the last time I kissed her. We’re staying a pretty good distance away. She has been very helpful at working with this whole laundry system," Dr. Roberts said.
Another local emergency room physician, Dr. Cinnamon Redd, has also changed her routine.
"Before the pandemic, I was more apt to do things like pick up my kids from school, go to the grocery store or go to the bank, but I don’t do any of that anymore. I drive directly home and when I get home, I undress and put my clothes in the laundry. I don’t hang out at all in my home in the clothes or shoes that I wear to work,” she said.
Dr. Redd and her husband, who is also an emergency room physician, shower immediately after their shifts and wash their scrubs in a sanitizing cycle which takes about two hours.
She adds that her children are aware that some of their welcome home greetings are now different.
“They just know when we come home, it's not the time to come up to us and give us a hug. They just wait for us to shower and get cleaned up and change before interacting with us,” Dr. Redd said.
Dr. Roberts believes that taking these extra precautions are to everyone's benefit.
“The only way to be successful is to protect ourselves. If we get sick then we can’t help the sick,” he said.