My unit is in a small community hospital. We have a combined OB unit (L & D, postpartum, nursery all together).
There are generally 2 nurses and 1 aide on 2nd and 3rd shifts. Maybe 1 more nurse on 1st shift.
Administration is now asking us to perform nasal swabs on ALL inpatients upon admission (this is hospital-wide). It generally takes at least 24 hours to get results. When a swab comes back positive for MRSA, even if the patient has never had symptoms and has no sores, they are automatically put in Contact Isolation, which also means that their baby is considered "contaminated/potentially infected" and cannot go to the nursery. Since we do not have an official "isolation" nursery, that means she basically has no choice but to keep her baby all day and night until discharge. -Even though the baby has usually spent time in the nursery in the 24 hrs prior to the positive result! I mean, the patient's stay is half over before we even get the results! :angryfire
Most of us nurses are furious with this. The patient is given a nice little information letter about what MRSA is and how proper handwashing and universal precautions are sufficient to prevent the spread, at the time that we take the nasal swab, and then when it's positive, all these other things happen. There's a nice big STOP sign on their door announcing to all the world that the patient in this room is in ISOLATION. :imbar
Now, they can still have all the visitors they want. We are to encourage them to wear gloves when in contact with the patient or baby, but if they choose not to, we can't help that.
It just all seems so ridiculous! We have not had an issue with MRSA in our hospital other than the norm.
This apparently all stems from Medicaid refusing to pay for post MRSA care unless it can be proven that the patient had the infection before they were admitted to the hospital. Now to make sure they are getting paid, this is what is happening.
At the same time, they are not going to swab any staff members because, "We probably would have a large percentage come back positive." And, "Probably most of the visitors that come in, carry the infection as well."
EXCUSE ME?? So, why are we isolating patients and babies??
After all that, I am aware that Staph is a serious thing and that we need to do what we can to minimize the threat to our patients, but I just don't see that we are really doing that.
Anyone else out there doing anything like this?