Infection Control

  1. I was wondering if I could get some enlightenment on what other NICU's across the country are doing in terms of infection control and see what is most common. I came from a unit with very strict infection control guidelines which made their infection rates almost non-existent. Since moving to a new facility, I am finding things are much more lax.... and it is causing me anxiety.:uhoh21:

    how often are you guys changing clear line fluids? e.g. 0.9 N/S with Hep?

    do you have any protocols for scrubbing in at the start of your shift?

    do nurses have their own stethoscope that is "cleaned" in between babies or does each baby have their own?

    what happens to items/supplies that fall on the floor?

    how often are your kids receiving vanc?

    have you seen co-workers touch their face and hair and then the baby and/or their supplies? ((ugh!!!!)) I have.

    I have so many other examples... but I'm really just interested in my fellow NICU nurses telling me what things their unit does to curb infection rates, what they think works well, and what they think the unit can improve on.

    Thanks in advance for your input!!!
    Last edit by shortydoowop on Sep 19, '06
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    About shortydoowop

    Joined: Mar '06; Posts: 4
    NICU RNC; from US
    Specialty: 13 year(s) of experience in Neonatal ICU


  3. by   cathys01
    Some of our infection control protocols:

    All IV fluids are changed Q24 hours. All lines are changed Q72 hours. Lipid lines are changed Q24 hours.

    Everybody (nurses, doctors, visitors) must do a 3 minute scrub before entering the unit. We use alcohol foam (at every bedside) between touching anything...

    Each baby has his own stethoscope at the bedside.

    Anything that falls on the floor goes straight in the ifs, ands, or buts!

    Vanc? Depends on the kids...

    Everybody sees people touch things and then a baby...our job is to point it out to anyone and not worry about "offending" them. If I touch something and then touch a baby I certainly hope somebody will point it out to me too...somethings we do are so ingrained in us that we don't even know we're doing them.

    We also scrub every surface at every bedside every shift.

    Anybody that comes in with even allergies must wear a mask...if you sniffle you get a mask!

    NICU laundry is done on our unit and the washing machine gets an empty run with bleach between each load.
  4. by   BabyNurse513
    Clear fluids get changed q72, TPN/IL q day, all changed sterile

    No policy for scrubbing at start of shift for staff, visitors do have to scrub when they come in though.

    Every baby has thier own stethoscope

    Anything that touches the floor goes in the trash ( i have seen nurses clean pacis and give them back to babies and that grosses me out!!!)

    Vanco - depends on the bug

    I have to agree with cathys01 on the touching thing
  5. by   cathys01
    BabyNurse, why would you not have to scrub before entering the NICU!?
  6. by   Casper21
    I am sure the hospital where Babynurse works assumes that everyone will wash there hands since it is a standard proto call. Just my guess.
  7. by   justjenny
    Our infection rate is very low (less than 4% or 2% - can't remember)

    3 min. scrub for everyone

    we must wash before and after every hands on and wear gloves EVERY time we touch an infant - bare hands are a NO-NO

    All fluids and lines are changed Q24 hr no matter what.

    Vanco - whenever ordered

    Falls on the floor - trash or laundry - no exceptions (one night I dropped a whole pile of clean linen on the floor - EEK!)

    Unannounced "spot checks" by the hospitals infection control dept - will observe staff for handwashing, etc, etc.

  8. by   BabyNurse513
    Quote from cathys01
    BabyNurse, why would you not have to scrub before entering the NICU!?
    My current NICU and the last one I worked in seemed to think that all the handwashing we do and alcohol gel we use were fine and that an additional 3 min scrub was not necessary.