Every year, lives are lost because of the spread of infections in hospitals. Health care workers can take steps to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. These steps are part of infection control. Of the many ways to prevent infection, the most commonly stressed is hand washing. This is also the most practiced form of infection control as it is a vigorously set standard by the CDC. There are multiple ways to practice hand sanitation, one for example is the use of an alcohol based hand rub as a disinfectant. The proper process is to apply to one hand and vigorously rub both hands together until dry. The second of course, is washing your hands using soap and water. This process is properly executed by wetting your hands with cold water, applying soap, and vigorously scrubbing hands with the antibacterial soap for fifteen seconds. Next, rinse your hands and dry them with a paper towel, you will then use the paper towel to turn off the faucet. Hand sanitation is always necessary before touching a patient, exiting the care area after touching the patient or potentially contaminated materials, after touching any form of bodily fluid, before performing an aseptic task (ie. injection), and after glove removal. A second form of infection control is through the use of Personal Protection Equipment, otherwise known as PPE. PPE takes many shapes and forms, consisting of gloves, gowns, goggles, surgical masks, face masks, gas masks, hazmat suits, face shields, and respirators. All PPE have at least one similarity, and that is the standards set by the CDC. All PPE must be fit to the user, and the proper PPE must be used for certain procedures. Personal Protection Equipment requires a specialized procedure to both put on and remove. To equip PPE, the equipment must be new, or disinfected if it is a reusable material. Hand hygiene as previously discussed must occur before donning PPE, then the user may equip his or her gown, next face protection device, and lastly gloves. For PPE removal, simply reverse the process, removing the gloves first without touching the potentially infected outside portion.
Another and more than likely most important infection control precaution, is the identification process of those with potential respiratory infections. A very common form of disease outbreak, is through respiratory excretion of an infection (ie. coughing, sneezing, etc.) Through pathogenesis (entering through the distal airway via inhalation), common infections such as Influenza, Bronchitis, Bronchiolitis, and Pneumonia can be very easily spread without taking proper infection control measures. With proper safety measures, infection can easily be subsided to a minimal amount. One of the most common procedures taken, is the use of respiratory hygiene (ie. cough and sneeze etiquette.) Another important form of infection control is training staff as to how to remain alert with identifying people with potential respiratory infections (irregular breathing, coughing, sneezing, and hacking.) Finally, respiratory infection spreading can be slowed simply by using the supplies available in practically every medical facility. These consist of face masks, tissues, alcohol based hand rubs, and no-touch waste receptacles for disposal of potentially contaminated materials.
Through necessary and implemented protocol, infection control can be efficiently and successfully used to keep medical facilities, staff, and patients safe. MedTrainer offers many courses pertaining to Infection control ranging from Airborne and Droplet disease Transmission to Hand Hygiene. Keep your medical facility and staff safe, and ensure that your patients are taken care of with the use of MedTrainer, an online compliance system that is effective, inexpensive, and used worldwide as a way to keep the medical field safe and reliable.
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