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Anxiety about returning to work during the pandemic

My office in Texas has been closed to non-emergency procedures since mid-March. We are opening up fully in two weeks and I am dealing with a lot of emotional uneasiness about returning to work. We will have proper PPE, KN95 masks covered with surgical mask disposed of after each pt, N95 mask for aerosol procedures covered with surgical mask, face shield, loupes with side shields, scrub jacket with disposable jacket worn over it, hair bonnets… and we have new virus filtering AC filters, and a UV light sanitizer for N95 masks…. but I still don’t feel like we should be opening up at the moment…especially when it comes to the geriatric patients we see. I know I cannot be the only one freaking out about this… just looking for advice.

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1 Answer

I don’t blame you for feeling uneasy! It’s hard not to feel that way considering that the CDC still states elective dental procedures should be postponed. From what you wrote, it looks to me as if your office is doing more than what some others are doing, so I hope that helps you feel better.
You are not the only one freaking out about this and your feelings are completely justified. The best advice I can give you is take it day by day. If you are uncomfortable with something, say something. When it comes to geriatric or immuno-compromised patients, perhaps scheduling them first thing before a ton of aerosols are in the air might be a good idea. With that, I must say that because their are no new CDC infection control guidelines in place, it’s just a thought, and it might not be a good one.
It might make you feel better if you sat down with your doctor and expressed your concerns, this way a plan can be made. For instance, a plan for geriatric and immuno-compromised patients.
Times are scary right now, especially when state dental associations and governors are taking it upon themselves to override the CDC and OSHA. Hang in there!

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