Isolation confusion!!


I work in LTC. So we obviously have a lot of semi-private rooms. When a patient has ESBL, MRSA, or what have you, we put them in isolation. Yet they still have a roommate? The roommate often is a little old lady with confusion at times who has no idea of the dangers in her room. Is this how its normal handled? Is this safe?

Or what about the family members who ignore the sign at the door that says "REPORT TO NURSE BEFORE ENTERING ROOM" ??? They kiss and hug their MRSA infected Papa and then leave the room and touch common areas others will touch as well (like the fridge for the colas, the pen at the nurses station to sign out, etc).

Or the wife who takes her husband in respiratory isolation for a walk EVERY DAY, yet every day you are running behind them with a mask because she "forgot" her husband has been in respiratory isolation for the last 6 months (probably because she never wears a mask in his room!).

Or why do we let patients in isolation go to the dining room for dinner with all the other patients? Why don't they stay in their room and eat?

Am I being over-cautious? Or is all of this going against protocol? Is there anything I can do to protect my other patients better? I know my number 1 defense is just washing my hands between everything I do, washing my clothes immediately after coming home, showering immediately after I come home, etc. But I don't even know how safe I am at that.

Any comments, suggestions, etc thanks!