Preventing Nosocomial infections: the PATIENTS THEMSELVES can help? YES!

  1. I just saw this article about how patients themselves might help prevent getting a Staph infection in hospitals:
    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/14842700/

    Interesting, but I was actually hoping for MORE...hospitals are blamed for Staph infections and handwashing by the staff is emphasized, of course!, but I've seen patients use toileting equipment and not wash THEIR hands, seen patients touch all kind of body parts and then their utensils and phones, and seen patients visited by relatives/friends that are so in need of a good scrubbing that I cringe at shaking their hands. And haven't we all seen patients, who are confused, touch all kinds of places/wounds on their bodies- transferring who-knows-what to other places on THEMSELVES?

    Its common knowledge that nurses can help prevent spreading an infection from one patient to another, by handwashing and other techniques...but the patients themselves can & do bring in things- even innocently on their own skin, and infect themselves! (gasp! you mean the hospital is not to blame?) And then they ambulate as suggested, and walk the halls, touching railings, etc. , as do all of their guests. So...see article attached for how a patient might consider starting to wash with chlorohexidine prior to coming in for surgery. Interesting, no? I think a bigger education effort directed at the public and their own responsibility in preventing infections when they are hospitalized, will help as much as the emphasis on nurses to keep to the highest standard of clean technique.
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   RGN1
    Also what about the docs? The number of times I've seen a doc go room to room, patient to patient, take dressing after dressing off with bare hands & not EVEN a squirt of alcohol gel inbetween!

    We have strategically placed notices everywhere but they obviously think they are not included when it comes to carrying out general precautions!! I always exaggerate putting gel on my hands etc when going round with the offenders but they just don't take a hint. These are consultants & you just can't seem to tell them anything!!
  4. by   RebeccaJeanRN
    Quote from RGN1
    Also what about the docs? The number of times I've seen a doc go room to room, patient to patient, take dressing after dressing off with bare hands & not EVEN a squirt of alcohol gel inbetween!
    :yeahthat: (that too!!!!!!!)
  5. by   Antikigirl
    I have seen this with all disaplines, family of patients, and patients...but it is always the NURSE that gets blamed if anything wrong is to happen...a mindset that if we all stand together and really educate our patients/family/friends can be slowed or even stopped.

    I provide washing wipes at all bedsides constantly and extra towels and encourage their use many times a day, and tissue always available for coughs and sneezes (and I remind them to wipe hands afterwards). A garbage is directly at bedside too so that tissues can be tossed after a use.

    You really have to look after the little ones though! Oh man what they get into and touch makes me ill! I saw a todler on the floor crawling and then went into the wrong room...touched the door...touched the lights...touched the bed to look into it for their loved one before I got to him and got him out! I went back and cleaned those spots! Man oh man.....yeah, totally the RN's fault...uhggggggg!

    Family...holly cow...put their purses and items everywhere they can find a space with no care to the fact there may be a germ or two there..and then carry it to the cafeteria, bathroom, lobby...ewwwwwww! Talk about a vector! They will also kiss or touch patients and do the same without cleaning themselves (or many times I catch them feeding or providing beverages and not washing before or after!).

    I do what I can to educate them, and show them the alcohol based foam they can use easily and it is kinda fun too (we should get some colored stuff for kids! LOL!!!). But I can't be MOMMY to everyone and remind them to wash themselves in a hospital and outside of it too!!!!!!!!

    Limiting guest contact is also a good idea...not a popular one for many reasons, but there wasn't as huge of a probelm back when there was control over visitors. I think for kids, 15 minutes is more than enough...within 2 they get bored! LOL!...adults 30 minutes to an hour dependant. This only at certain times of the day (not during change of shift, not at 2200 or later at night, etc).

    That or have the pts guest suit up and glove up? Oh I bet that would go over well....right?!?!? UHGGGGGGGG! (there are circumstances where they do).

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