Holiday Decorations and Infection Control?

  1. Hello, all! I was any of you know anything about holiday decorations with regards to infection control? Some nurses on our unit wanted to decorate the unit a bit, it's very drab, but we were told (quickly and not thoroughly) that there was an 'issue' with infection control and that it 'won't be allowed'. Any ideas? Do any of you know of a JCHAO or other policy that I could take a peek at that specifically mentions that problem? What do you do on your units? Are you decorated, and if so, has this issue ever come up before? Thanks a lot! Have a great weekend!

  2. Visit NICU_Nurse profile page

    About NICU_Nurse, BSN

    Joined: Jul '01; Posts: 2,151; Likes: 86


  3. by   nell
    We decorate all of the time for all kinds of reasons/seasons. Everything (including phone lists and other important things!) comes down when JCAHO comes though.
  4. by   Anaclaire
    We only decorated in the non-patient care areas like the waiting room, front office, etc. At Christmas our volunteers crocheted red hats with white pompoms, and a "Santa Claus" came to have his photo taken with each baby using our polaroid camera. He'd either hold the baby or stand by it's isolette. We checked with the parents a few days before Christmas to be sure that would be ok with them first (religious reasons, etc.) The photo was taped onto the baby's bed during the night on Christmas Eve when the "Santa" came by. Our Christmas Tree was kept in the waiting room, and our Christmas cards were taped up in the office near where the parents washed their hands.
  5. by   prmenrs
    We decorated; and we had a Santa come thru for pictures; he either held the baby or got close enough for the purposes of the picture--even the real sick kids.

    As the season approaches, the Social Workers check w/parents re: religion if we don't already know. Small stockings taped on the incubator/warmer--the parents LOVE the candy we put in there.

    Night shift always puts on a Christmas play or just the "tableau" if their real busy; everyone makes their own costumes (the docs are usually the wise men/people, and they work especially hard on their crowns!); a baby is selected to be Jesus--doesn't have to be a boy, ususally a long term patient, but if the parents are still there, it will be their baby. (The thing is done around midnight, so, most parents and other suits are GONE!!)

    p.s. as a former Infection Control Nurse, I have NEVER heard of any single infection or outbreak being traced to Christmas decorations, unless they were somehow implanted into the patient.
    Last edit by prmenrs on Dec 1, '02
  6. by   Mofe'ny
    Hi, Yes we do decorate, but mainly the non patient care areas.
    We have a central nurses station that we decorate and put up a small tabletop tree (with no lights!!!!) We made construction paper ornaments (snowflakes, candy canes,stars) and put up the discharge pictures from babies born that year, as well as some of the 'graduates' christmas pictures that some moms will send us.

    We also have little stockings for the babies, that we will put out on christmas eve. I am going to check with the parents of the babies that are there at Christmas this year to see if they celebrate. I bought some packages of personalize-able ornaments--- mainly snowmen-- nothing offensive, and will write each babies name on them for their stockings. Parents seem to love keepsake stuff!

    Our unit has a lot of curtained windows and we are surrounded by hallways going to L&D. So last year we put window clings on all of the window. Something else neat that you can do is put a window cling on the outside of a babies incubator. You can normally find them at walmart for about $1.00 / card.... and you can use one card with different things on it for several babies. Then we give them to the parents to take home for baby books if they want them. Otherwise they get trashed when baby goes home. For fall/thanksgiving I found cardinals sitting on fall branches.

    Does anyone else have some ideas for inexpensive decorations? we would love to decorate more, but most of our stuff is old & ugly, except for what several of us on night shift bought last year after trying to decorate one night, and realizing how awful our decorations looked. Do you put lights on your tree? We can't due to fire hazard. That is the only stipulation that we had.
  7. by   NicuGal
    We have a tree by the main lights. One of the girls at work decorates trees on the side and she always does a beautiful job. This year it is birds and flowers

    We put clings on the windows, but we can't hang things from the ceilings.

    We have to go thru legal to get permits for Santa pictures, so many times most of our babies don't get to "see" Santa as their parents don't come in or keep forgetting to sign and or bring back the permit.

    Bonne Bell usually donates some stuff to us and we make little packs for the moms. We do footprints and the hand prints over the footprints...instant reindeer We also can usually get one of the craft stores to give us those little stockings at a discount, and we use glitter pens to put their name...sometimes not an easy feat, if you get my drift LOL

    We do ask parents about religion when they are admitted, so we know which kids we can do in the traditional Santa/Christmas theme. This year we have 3 little Jewish babies and our attending is Jewish and two of our nurses are also, so they are going to get little dreidels and our nurses and the docs wife is going to bake for those families :roll :roll