Quote from cursedandblessed
on my last rotation every patient i had either had cdiff, mrsa, or vre or some combination of the three. i peeled off the clothes in the restroom and put them in a plastic bag, wiped my shoes down with the purple topped wipes put on different clothes, washed my hands and lower arms really well, throwing the bag in the trunk. luckily mine is white so i threw them in the washer with a cup of bleach right after i came home. then in the dryer they went. i've never cleaned the washer afterwards. i made it through without anyone in my family coming down with anything.
the above post makes me even more respectful of bedside nurses. our hais are out of control and increasing all the time. i don't work in nursing anymore except with my mrsa prevention and advocacy, but my work doesn't even compare to what dedicated bedside nurses face every day.
i am now working with the maine quality forum infection control collaborative in the capacity of a consumer. without nursing knowlege and the experience that i have had with my own fathers terminal hai, mrsa pneumonia, a consumer would be facing an inpenetrable wall. i thought i was fighting mrsa but i am fighting infection preventoinists.
the small part of my maine bill, ld 1038, that passed, high risk screening, was passed with the intent and also the impression of the health and human services committee that high risk screening on admission would be done. the majority, but not all of the maine quality forum group are infection control nurses and one epidemiologist. all but a very few are fighting against this screening and reporting. i never dreamed i would meet such opposition. and this is with full knowlege that a 15 year campaign for handwashing and other attempts at prevention have failed.
making hospital accountable for these infections was part of my proposal in ld 1038. so, some on this committe have as usual...put all the blame on bedside nurses. one hospital has gone as far as assigning the cleaning people to report doctors and nurses for not washing their hands. until everybody in that hospital has had the same standardized education about handwashing and other preventative steps, nobody should be assigned handwashing police duties. it is just another way to put bedside nurses down. doctors don't care if they get reported because of their percieved status. it's the same old culture as in the 1960s when i trained as a nurse.
so, instead of accepting that their prevention policies are in large part a failure and trying to move on to something that has been proven effective, hospitals will balk and cry foul and blame bedside nurses for the problem.
the goal of everybody concerned needs to be mrsa and other hai prevention/control. in a perfect world everybody would have a private room. perhaps every room would have gowns for any physical contact with the patients. maybe we could give the patients and their families a "hospital survival kit" with alcohol hand sanitizer for the patients and some disinfection wipes to clean the things closest to the patient. we could involve the families with some light cleaning since we cannot assign a cleaning person to each patient. all of these things would have sounded ridiculous to me even 10 years ago, but not anymore.
so, bedside nurses, keep up the good work and maybe someday your administrations and infection control people will actually start preventing these infecitons instead of reacting to them.