Nursing and Infection Control
The reality of infection control may seem academic during pre-qualification for a nursing license. But there are processes for nurses to control infection spread and treatment. The methods include assessing each patient daily, reviewing admission paperwork and examining the patient and conducting body checks. The ways nurses can control infection are via infection containment and MRSA notification, timely endorsement to other nurses, and testing for infection via lab work.
Some nurses may not understand until they function professionally that a patient may exhibit symptoms of an infection, but they don’t necessarily understand what the symptoms mean when taken together. Thirst, reddening of skin, maceration of wounds or sores, drainage, excessive urination, and other symptoms should spark a curiosity in a professional nurse. The occupational nurse should investigate whether or not the patient is at risk for infection from environmental contagion or systemic vulnerability.
Nurses can order the room of a patient cleaned after a number of visitors have passes through. Contamination from referral nurses like LVNs and CNAs can increase total chance of a patient becoming infection. Immunity system diseases can encroach upon vulnerable patients because they do not have enough defenses like a working nurse, charge nurse, or student nurse intern. Patients can also carry germs and pass them on to other patients in group activity settings.
The patient most take care to limit contact with new sources of foreign bacteria. Housecleaning staff who go from room to room CNA spread infection by failing to clean their mops, brooms, and shoes. Hygiene should be of the highest caliber for every nurse. High-level infectious disease wards have housecleaning done with rubber booties on the shoes of all staff, as the bottom of shoes comes into contact with ground debris. This can be the nucleus of a horrible infection or a vulnerable patient with e reduced strength immune system.
In some cases, infections of the throat or gums, cuts or scrapes, and pre-existing wounds or sores can lengthen a patient stay in a hospital or long term care facility. A nurse who feels they don’t have to wash their hands between insulin administrations or pills disbursements may find themselves distracted and end up handling the medication with their bare hands. Nurses who often carry medication in their pocket may drop it, and whomever picks that up may in a world of trouble.
Care taken during specimen gathering can be crucial. All specimens should be considered potentially infectious, or hazardous, especially when exposed by contact with skin breaks. All methods and nursing procedures should be followed. Droplet infections, airborne infections, contract infections and potential blood borne infectious material pose the greatest risk. Viruses, parasites, fungi and bacteria must be watched for. Disinfection, sterilization, antisepsis and sterilization can be the nurse’s friends in aiding for the containment of infectious diseases.
Nurses may convey infectious bacteria (unintentionally) by traveling from a room with infection control and transmitting germs to the room with a patient where infection control methods are not being observed. Nurses have a burden of care for public health safety, not just the comfort of one patient. Patients who resist bathing and cleaning should be counselled for an intervention. Nurses should be wary that infectious bacteria can travel from room to room, person to person, with trays, silverware, instruments, supplies, wound care materials, sharps, and ungloved hands.
Nurses should caution other nurses and staff from letting down the standard of care by providing the patient with infection risks. Cluttered paths of travel, untidy patient rooms, incorrect bed elevation, incorrect shoes or clothing, all can play a part in posing a risk to infection control. Wet floors, back safety, fall prevention and care when working with chemicals should help any nurse do their part looking out for infection containment.
A patient who is consistently dirty is at risk for infection. A patient who refuses to bathe or change clothes can pose an infection risk to themselves or others. Dirty gowns, unwashed hands or unwashed flesh, torn surgical gloves or broken seals or opened packages should prompt a concern for the prevention of infectious disease. Sterile masks and protective equipment, environmental cleanliness, disinfection and sterilization can prevent disease breakouts and ensure better health care.