OMAHA, Neb. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The CDC says those who have been fully vaccinated do not have to wear their masks. But more than one in three unvaccinated adults say they will not get the COVID-19 vaccine, putting reaching herd immunity at risk. That’s why proper testing is still crucial.
For the past year, this has been a familiar sight.
“People come out saying that they felt like their brain was impaled,” shared Christie Barnes, MD, an ear, nose & throat doctor at University of Nebraska Medical Center.
But even after a year of testing for COVID …
“I’m still seeing it done incorrectly on the news,” Dr. Barnes continued.
And now that several rapid at-home COVID tests are available to consumers, is there a danger to performing the test incorrectly?
“It could result in nose bleeds, injury to the nose and the nasal cavity,” explained Dr. Barnes.
That’s why a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center has created an advanced simulation model that can be used to teach the proper skills to those performing the swab tests. It’s called ONPACE, the Oral Nasal Pharyngeal Anatomy Clinical Education trainer.
“We decided that it would be fun if we could do something that was more like the old Operations game,” stated Ben Stobbe, RN, MBA, Assistant Vice Chancellor of iEXCEL at University of Nebraska Medical Center.
A light comes on when the student performs the test correctly. So, what should you know when performing a COVID test?
Do not direct the swab upward. The swab needs to go about seven centimeters in your average adult. Also stay still to avoid injury. Rest your head against a wall or chair. And don’t apply pressure.
With proper testing and vaccines, the most vulnerable populations can be protected.
“We try to do this so no one has to do any quarantine at all,” said Steve Frazee, Chief Program Officer at Open Door Mission.
About seventy percent of the population is born with a deviated septum, which makes it difficult to get to the area of the nose to get a proper swab sample. If resistance is felt early on, perform the test using the other nostril. The ONPACE simulation can also be used for other respiratory illness such as strep and the flu.
Contributors to this news report include: Milvionne Chery, Producer; Roque Correa, Editor and Videographer.
AVOID COVID TEST INJURY: ONPACE
BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines are considered to be safe and effective. Some side effects have been reported after vaccination, which are normal and should go away over a few days. Scientists say it takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to build immunity against the virus, and you are not fully vaccinated until two weeks after the second dose of a two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a one-dose vaccine. How well the vaccine prevents you from spreading the virus that causes COVID-19 to others is still being studied. Early data shows that vaccines help keep people with no symptoms from spreading COVID-19. Other studies are ongoing as to how long COVID-19 vaccines protect people, and how effective the vaccines are against new variants of the virus that causes COVID-19.
COVID AND HERD IMMUNITY: Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. How much of a community needs to be immune in order to achieve herd immunity varies from disease to disease. There are still some unknowns when it comes to creating herd immunity to the virus that causes COVID-19. It’s not clear how long you are protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19, therefore reinfection being possible. Experts estimate that in the U.S., 70 percent of the population, or more than 200 million people, would have to recover from COVID-19 to halt the pandemic. This number of infections could lead to serious complications and millions of deaths, especially among older people and those who have existing health conditions. However, herd immunity would make it possible to protect the population from the disease, including those who can’t be vaccinated, such as newborns or those who have compromised immune systems.
NEW TRAINING MODEL DEVELOPED FOR MORE ACCURATE TESTING: The University of Nebraska Medical Center’s iEXCEL team have created an advanced model to help improve the skills of those performing the swab COVID-19 tests. Five Oral Nasal Pharyngeal Anatomy Clinical Education trainers, or ONPACE, are now available. “When we were faced with this pandemic, we realized that millions of frontline workers were having to learn a procedure that they had never done before or were not as familiar with,” said Christie Barnes, MD, an assistant professor and rhinologist in the UNMC Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. “We are committed to ensuring our frontline swabbers are equipped to do the procedure well and are excited at the potential this will have on patients nationally and internationally,” continued Dr. Barnes. In early 2020, COVID-19 swab training was done on airway models already on hand, but trainers wanted a more advanced teaching tool. Like the classic game “Operation,” color-coded indicators provide feedback on whether learners are doing the procedure properly. Instructors can watch through the clear side of the model to teach anatomy and correct swab insertion. This one-of-a-kind, portable trainer is the most sophisticated and realistic available. It also is designed to test for infections such as strep throat, flu and to diagnose some ENT issues.
* For More Information, Contact:
Vicky Cerino, Media Relations Coordinator/UNMC
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