Refilling water pitchers - page 2

by valeskav 8,170 Views | 23 Comments

Nurses, How do you refill patient's water pitchers in the hospital? We are no longer allowed to take their pitchers to the touch-free water machine. Currently, they have us using large styrofoam cups for each refill. Needless,... Read More


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    Once something goes in the patient's room, it belongs to them and doesn't come out unless they change rooms. Our water pitchers have disposable liners. When you bring the patient fresh ice or water, you fill a new liner at the machine and change out the liner in the pitcher. The old loner gets tossed away. A lot if waste, but better for infection control.
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    technically speaking, the pitchers should not be filled from a hand washing sink. This throws another wrench into your discussion....lol.
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    Our folks get a plastic disposable pitcher with a styro liner that gets refilled multiple times. If they need a fresh cup of water during my med pass and their pitcher is empty, I throw away their old styro cup and get them fresh ice water in a new cup, and refill their pitcher at the same time. I can see the infection control issue, but we haven't had any better suggestions that are cost effective, and our patients need water

    Obviously I would never take a water pitcher or reusable ice pack from a precaution room and refill it at the common area.
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    Plastic pitchers and cups were always provided in the patients room. That persons name and room number was written on it with a marker. Ice was provided if necessary and brought to the on floor pantry to fill at the machine. Only thing that was a contaminate as far as I can see is the Nurses hands touching the handle and possibly new cups. So. do we wash our hands before and after handling those pitchers now? I dont think so, if thats the case the whole room, curtains and bed should be changed completely every single day in facilities? How about having Nurses/visitors/doctors, techs/aides take a shower before and after entering a patients room? I think it becomes somewhat anal at times with the little things and we just become paranoic messes.
    BrandonLPN and Twinmom06 like this.
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    Our kitchen, when providing breakfast for the patients, gives each patient a new water pitcher. We also have spares on the ward. We have NO protocol for refilling the water pitchers. If the patient is an infection risk (such as MRSA), I refill the water jug in their room from their sink after rinsing with hot water (to kill any bacteria I can). If the patient is not an infection risk I fill from the ice/cold water machine located next to the nurses station... There is no protocol or procedure at all!
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    Quote from lumbarpain
    Plastic pitchers and cups were always provided in the patients room. That persons name and room number was written on it with a marker. Ice was provided if necessary and brought to the on floor pantry to fill at the machine. Only thing that was
    a contaminate as far as I can see is the Nurses hands touching the handle and possibly new cups. So. do we wash our hands before and after handling those pitchers now? I dont think so, if thats the case The whole room, curtains and bed should be changed completely every single day in facilities? How about having Nurses/visitors/doctors, techs/aides take a shower before and after entering a patients room? I think it becomes somewhat anal at times with the little things and we just become paranoic messes.
    This. Infection control can easily exceed the limits of common sense and practicality. If a pt is not in isolation, there's no reason we can't take the pitcher to the pantry and fill it with ice. Shouldt we scrub down the vitals machine between each room? The glucometer? What's going to happen to the pitcher on the trip from the room to the pantry? It's not like we take the pitcher and roll it on the ground, or dangle it inches in front of a coughing pt in the hall. If physically carrying a water pitcher from a room to the pantry is a real risk, then every last pt is totally doomed already.....
    RunnerRN2b2014 and loriangel14 like this.
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    It should be ok to take the plastic pitcher out of the pt's room to refill unless the pt is on isolation. I don't understand what people are talking about cross-contamination since it's touch-free, the mouth part shouldn't be in contact with anything. But since it is your hospital's policy, my earlier point is moot in this case. My suggestion is using one of those pink bathing basins, fill it with ice only, maybe 3/4s of the way. It will slowly melt, the water can be poured in the pitcher or cup. I'm not sure if this is a good suggestion or not, but it is the only one that I could think of at the moment.
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    @BrandonLPN: Actually, we are supposed to clean all non-disposable equipment ( e.g. glucometer, doppler, rolling thermometer, etc.) that comes out of the patient's room with special wipes. Also, we try to prevent cross contamination because even if the patient is not on isolation today doesn't mean they won't be on isolation tomorrow. So do you clean the ice/water machine after each use?
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    Quote from AutumnDraidean
    Bags of the right amount of ice in a picnic cooler, take a bag into the room, dump into pitcher refill pitcher in room sink? I'm not talking ziplock bags here, I'm talking about open top cheap bags that would hold about a quart volume of air. Less wasteful probably pretty messy... Currently we take the pitchers out to the ice machine one at a time(Not collected on a cart) but we're a maternal newborn unit.
    This is what we do - each pt gets a nice cup with a bendy straw and our facility logo on it to take home. That NEVER leaves the patient's room during their stay. We have bags by the water/ice machine that we fill and then take into the patient's room.
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    Quote from dah doh
    @BrandonLPN: Actually, we are supposed to clean all non-disposable equipment ( e.g. glucometer, doppler, rolling thermometer, etc.) that comes out of the patient's room with special wipes. Also, we try to prevent cross contamination because even if the patient is not on isolation today doesn't mean they won't be on isolation tomorrow. So do you clean the ice/water machine after each use?
    Of course I don't wipe the ice/water machine down after each use. Nor do I wipe the vitals machine down after each use. This is what I meant by infection control veering into OCD territory....


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