What is Infection control ?
2. Reflect on how infection control important in nursing?
3. What have I learned?
4. What are the implications for my future practice/placement (would anything be done differently)?
5. How is it going to help me in practice/placement?
Infection control refers to the discipline which is concerned with the prevention of nosocomial infection or the infection which is associated with healthcare (Barclay et al. 2014). It is a practical sub-discipline of epidemiology and is essential, but it is an unsupported part of healthcare infrastructure. Infection, as well as hospital epidemiology, are analogous to the practice involving public health and is practiced within the limitations of a particular system of healthcare delivery rather than intended at society altogether. Anti-infective agents comprise of antibacterial, antibiotics, antiviral, antiprotozoal and antifungal agents (Rosenthal et al. 2012).
Infection control deals with the factors that are associated with the spreading of infections within the settings of healthcare, including prevention, investigation/monitoring of a suspected infection spread within a particular setting of healthcare and management (Mayhall 2012).
In the majority of the facilities of healthcare several sick individuals are cared or treated in the confined places. This means that there is the existence of numerous microorganisms. The patients can come in contact with various staff members who could probably spread the microorganisms along with infections among the patients. Huge quantities of waste material contaminated with body substances and blood are handled as well as processed in the settings of healthcare and increases the risk of infection (Miller and Palenik 2014).
There exists a majority of diseases that may tentatively pass from the patients to the staff of the hospital. In several cases, the staff possesses additional risk if they are not well or have a compromised immune system. The infection of a pregnant woman may possibly pit in danger the baby which they carry- for instance if the woman is infected with chickenpox (O’Grady et al. 2013).
MRSA is a type of Staphylococcus aureus which is resistant to methicillin. It is frequently transmitted through hand contact; in this hand hygiene is predominantly essential in preventing the spread of MRSA (Barbut et al. 2013). A number of individuals are colonized with MRSA, but they do not present with any symptoms. Decolonization might be carried out in a number of cases. The patients are progressively being screened ahead of the elective measures. However, the staff screening is still exceptional (Tacconelli et al. 2014).
A bacterium named Clostridium difficile is found in the large intestine. As the patients take antibiotics, it leads to the disturbance of gut flora and this microorganism can increase and can lead to the production of toxins which can cause diarrhea. In severe cases, rupture and bleeding of the intestine together with inflammation and sometimes can even lead to death. C. dif can be very infectious in the environmental of a hospital (Apisarnthanarak et al. 2014). Norovirus is responsible for winter vomiting disease and causes viral infections. It usually affects hospitals and clinics. The transmission of infection occurs through one person to the other, contaminated foodstuff and drink and contaminated surfaces (Angelis et al. 2014).
We can prevent and control the infection of MRSA, Norovirus and C.dif by supporting the World Health Organizations (WHO) Five Moments of Hand Hygiene, which aims to inform when we should wash our hands. All the patients in the hospitals are provided with hand wipes to utilize before the consumption of meals, and the patients who are not able to wash their hands after using the washrooms are also provided with hand wipes containing antibacterials. All the relatives, visitors and care providers are asked to wash their hands before entering and after coming back from the wards and to apply ethanol on hands at the main entrance (Barclay et al. 2014).
2. Infection control is very much important in nursing because if the environment of the hospital or nursing homes is infectious, it will lead to the deterioration of the health conditions of the patients, the doctors and the visitors. Therefore, the following methods can lead to effective infection control:
Hand Hygiene- The hygiene of hands is extensively known to be an essential activity for minimizing the spread of diseases. The term ‘Hand Hygiene’ comprises of washing of hands with soap which can be either simple or contain anti-septic along with water and utilization of the products that contain alcohol (Miller and Palenik 2014).
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