A surgical face mask, also referred to as an operating face mask, is designed to be worn by healthcare workers during specific medical procedures in order to prevent airborne transmission of infectious agents to patients and thus the treating them. Healthcare workers who work in a variety of medical environments including intensive care, pediatric, and neonatal units are often required to wear these masks. An infection in one area of the face can easily spread to another and thereby create a dangerous situation for the patient.
These masks are available with different types of face shields including nosepieces, full face shields, and medical, regulatory, and specialty masks. A full face shield is often made from materials that cannot easily be removed such as thick plastic or metal. Nosepieces are often attached to the masks with clips or with ties that can be taken off and reused. Medical and regulatory masks are often made out of materials that can easily be removed such as silicon rubber or thin metal.
Masks with ear loops are useful for patients with pierced noses. This ensures that the air flow through the nose is not blocked. Patients with pierced noses should not wear nose plugs while they undergo any type of procedure since the presence of the nasal plug could cause damage to the skin surrounding the nose. The use of a disposable plastic tube similar to a straw is often used when the patient’s nose is pierced.
Another possible reason why healthcare workers may be required to wear a face mask is when they are working with a virus that causes the symptoms of a cold or flu: the so-called “influenza” virus. Some people may become infected with this virus, even when there is no exposure to airborne pathogens or to needle-sharing. For this reason, healthcare workers may be required to wear a face mask when they are cleaning or operating microscopes.
One thing that every worker who may be exposed to a dangerous or contagious workstation should know is the importance of using personal protective equipment (PPE). These are recommended for every individual who works in healthcare facilities – especially those who spend a lot of time in medical offices or doctor’s offices. PPE includes a variety of special garments and devices that protect workers from the harmful effects of contagious illnesses and disease. These devices are often made out of vinyl, which is often attached to the patient’s clothing by Velcro. Using face masks help prevent these devices from coming off and becoming airborne, thereby making it less likely for the wearer to contract the virus.
Medical workers may wear nasal masks as well when the need arises to protect their lungs from infection. These devices are often called nasal masks and are used when the patient is breathing through a tube, such as when a patient is recovering from surgery or when he is having chemotherapy treatments. Aside from protecting the lungs from infection, they also prevent foreign particles from entering the patient’s respiratory system. This makes it much easier for healthcare workers to detect infections before they cause more serious problems. Proper use of the right face mask or surgical mask when needed can prevent exposure to harmful or contagious substances or infections and protect all types of medical staff – from doctors to nurses to pharmacy technicians and other members of the medical team.