We as Nurses know this one. We even know little cute ways to know how long to wash them(i.e. alphabet song, happy birthday, etc.). A new study conducted by our University Hospital's Medical Tech Program reminded me that Bacterial Colonies, Fungal Spores, and Viruses love the things we touch the most!
Here is the list of the top 10 "most infected" surfaces
according to 10 Students swabbing 218 Inpatient Hospital Items.
10. Toilet Flush Lever
9. Soap Dispenser Button
8. Salt/Pepper Shaker in Staff Cafeteria(see #6)
7. Rim of sink(cleaned daily)
6. Cafeteria Cleaning rag
5. An Elevator button(Ground Floor)
4. Water Fountain Handle
3. (TIE) A Patient's Bed's TV Button and Handle of a Patient's Thermos
2. A Stethoscope's Bell(Owned by Infection Control RN)
1. Nursing Desk Phone
..."best(Worst?) in show"? The "S" key of one of the "Staff Only" Computers. Now I think "Staph Computer" may better sum it up.
"Dishonorable" Mentions: Some surfaces' ranks that didn't make the top 10 included a toilet seat(#88), a hearing aid(#31), a BSC(#47), an Emesis Basin(#20), a used tube of Wound Gel (#11), and an abandoned pair of Dentures left in moist Zip-Lock bag (#12)!!!
Do you have any advice for Infection Control Methods?
What are some disturbing things you have seen, that, if given the authority to change, it would be safer/more sanitary?
Do you wash your hands in patients' room for them to witness?
Is enough hand hygiene taught at your facility, and if so do you see it being followed?
Feel free to answer one or more, or just leave a comment if you wish.
Nov 19, '12
by roser13, ASN
"What are some disturbing things you have seen, that, if given the authority to change, it would be safer/more sanitary?"
Don't know if any authority under God can change this, but one of our female surgeons is regularly observed using the restroom without washing her hands afterward. FEMALE!
!I suppose her thought process may be that she's about to go scrub the crap out of her hands (literally, I guess
but the restroom is on a different floor than the OR's and goodness knows how many door handles, stair rails and auto-door open plates she touches on the way there.
Last edit by roser13 on Nov 19, '12
: Reason: iPad issues
Can't wait on the Gram Positive/Negative tests, along with differentials for difficult to treat bacterial Colonies. Please remember, the tests do not pick up viral or fungal spores.
Also, studies concluded that a high bacteria level upon a surface is NO indicator of fungal or viral presence. Most microbes of the fungal/Protista/Viral origin are very fragile, sensitive to elements, and need a host, or cool/warm dark moist places (i.e. why we don't place items under sink, and they are glued/screwed shut only opened by maintenance. It is however worth mentioning that when they did a test for a local 5 star Hotel, for fungal colonies (not spores) 95.7% of linen surface tested was clear of infection. Then something interesting was found, 99.3% of pillow cases tested positive for levels over safe (recommended) breathing levels. (Fungal) Shortly after these tests were published, Dateline NBC had a special on the Fungal Pillowcase problem.
As much as I love Egyptian Cotton Blends, Synthetic materials less permeable to Oxygen and moisture faired MUCH better, 19.5% on a 50/50 cotton-synthetic mix, one week of use, virtually no living fungus after a regular cycle wash and tumble dry. .00003% on test (within margin of non-existence). Remember these are the Cases, all the pillows were higher than safe levels, only brought down by "sunning them" for 6 hours. (3 hours each side. One week to resume previous level of fungus! No more pillow fights for me!!!!
They have tried everything to correct this, so the they researched and found that their own pillow cases came in right about the same. The ONLY thing that greatly reduces the fungal population was using 2 cases. Why? They have no clue. Also, Natural Sun Light is a Wonderful Antibiotic.
The Sun's radiation destroys the microbes DNA/RNA, thus stopping growth as well. See, our grandmothers were smarter than we knew!!(hanging out sheets). Also, in the tests, areas hit by natural sunlight were ALWAYS the cleanest.
Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Nov 19, '12
: Reason: Format
Quote from classicdame
we not only talk up hand hygiene, we also have "monitor for the day" for each department. They are charged with reminding co-workers if they see them enter/leave a room without washing.
I really have to say this made me kind of OCD, I mean I believe I always strive to keep my hands washed, even in patient's room before assessing them, well anytime I enter actually.
But, my real epiphany was public bathrooms (napkin to open door after hand washing), cleaning vehicle surfaces, and ALL Handles of everything gets Lysol Spray daily!! (Peeking out window for the "whitecoats!")
Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Nov 20, '12
: Reason: Format