Infection Control has always been a big part of practice management for complementary therapists. With the current global situation and subsequent fears about personal contact in mind I have detailed below:
- The steps I have always taken to ensure the safety of my clients
- The additional steps I am currently taking in line with the government's delay phase strategy
- What to do if you have injured yourself, but are unable to attend for an appointment
We all know about the importance of hand hygiene - so what's the problem? - Well, there is a huge difference between a quick pass under the tap and a glance at the soap and properly washing your hands - and what if there is no soap or warm water to wash your hands with while you are out?
There are probably no end of You Tube Videos on how to wash your hands at the moment - but here are two I quite like, the first one is just a simple demonstration of the method, the second is a nurse demonstrating, the how and why - with a lovely petrie dish demo - and also some common mistakes and errors we all make sometimes.
University of Leicester, Complete Guide to Hand Washing
Safe Practice and COVID19
Good Hygiene standards and awareness of infection control have always been requirements of Massage Therapists, it is an intrinsic part of our training at all levels and a requirement of our Insurance Cover. The purpose of this page is to reassure clients that steps are being taken to ensure their safety as much as possible and in particular what steps are being taken in our current High Alert situation.
With COVID19 in particular in mind the WHO (World Health Organisation) advice is centred around research that suggests that there are two routes by which this virus can be transmitted:
- Infection can be spread to people through close contact (within 2 metres) with infected individuals and respiratory droplets generated during coughing and sneezing
- It is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching a door knob or shaking hands then touching own face)
- There is currently no evidence that people who are without any symptoms are infectious to others.
The boxes below describe my current practices and details of additional practices being adopted in accordance with current WHO and UK Government advice.
Equipment - This includes: oil bottles, towels, toilet facilities, massage couch, and surfaces. Between each client the towels are changed, oil bottles, surfaces and massage couch are wiped down, with an antibacterial cleaner. Towels are washed separately at 90° with an added anti bacterial cleaner.
Additional precautions -
- Clean down between each client will include cleaning of door handles, chair and clothing container.
- A wipe clean floor mat to step on and off the couch, will be provided and cleaned as above.
- Customers can pay via apple pay, google wallet, online transfer or may opt to give card details rather than handling chip and pin reader.
- Each clean down will take longer and gaps between appointments will be extended to 30 mins to accommodate this.
Hand Hygiene - This might included hand washing, anti-bacterial use of oils during the treatment and care taken over any scratches or open wounds - on either client or therapist. Hands are washed thoroughly prior to and immediately after treatment, usually while the client is getting changed. Any open wounds including small scratches and grazes are avoided during the massage.
- Clients will be encouraged to wash hands with soap and water before and after treatment.
- Antibacterial sanitisers will be available in cloakroom and treatment room.
- Single use hand towels will be provided in cloakroom.
- Additional hand sanitiser will be applied by therapist before and after massaging face or hands.
Infection Control - Therapist should not provide treatment if feeling unwell, or within 48 hours of sickness and/or diarrhoea, appointments will be cancelled or postponed under these circumstances. The same applies to clients, who should not attend for treatment while feeling unwell or within 48 hours of sickness or diarrhoea.
- Appointments must be cancelled/postponed if you have been in contact with someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID19 symptoms or if you have recently returned from overseas.
- Appointments must be cancelled if you are self-isolating - this includes any fever or cold symptoms and is in line with current UK Government requirements.
- Appointments will be cancelled if I or anyone in my close circle experiences suspected or confirmed COVID19 symptoms or if there has been a reason to self-isolate, with the exception of those self-isolating for their own protection.
- Clients arriving for treatment who are showing signs of cold or fever symptoms will not be admitted to the building or treatment room.
- If symptoms develop within 14 days of an appointment by either client or therapist notifications will be made to all those who have been in contact.
As restrictive as all this sounds, I really do wish everyone well, these steps are in place to protect everyone and I am sure if we all pull together and take care of one another, we will come through this, a better and more compassionate community than before.
So, let's say you pull a muscle or wake up with a sore neck, bad back etc., but can't attend an appointment because you or a loved one are in a high risk group or because you are self isolating for any of the above reasons - you can still access my services.
I can assess, and demonstrate self-treatment methods, advise on pain relief and posture correction to alleviate pain and stiffness via Skype or WhatsApp video call.
You will find this new service under the bookings tab - or by clicking here. Simply make your appointment, choose how you want me to contact you and fill out the contact details
This situation has occurred at great speed and has far reaching consequences for many people. If you are feeling perplexed and alarmed by the current situation, I am also available for stress management, Reiki and Meditation online or via video link click here or see the booking tab on the home page to arrange this.
Let's all stay safe, calm and ride out this storm together.