What is an Hospital Acquired Infection?
A Hospital Acquired Infection is an infection that a patient receives in the hospital during their stay. It can happen after surgery by getting and infection in the surgical incision, pneumonia, MRSA and or C-DIFF for example. “health care–associated infections, 1 in 25 patients in the acute care setting will develop a health care–associated infection during their hospital stay. In 2011, roughly 722 000 patients had a hospital acquired infection and around 75 000 of those patients died” (Haversack, 2017).
What can a Hospital Acquired Infection lead too?
If a patient develops a hospital acquired infection it can lead to a longer hospital stay, health complications and may lead to death. Education on how to prevent hospital acquired infection should be taught to all patients. The more knowledge we know the less chance a patient will develop a hospital acquired infection.
How to prevent Hospital Acquired Infections?
The best way to prevent the spread of germs is hand washing.
How to properly wash your hands
- Turn on water and wet hands.
- Add a coin size amount of soap
- Scrub hands together for 20 seconds, or sing happy birthday twice.
- Since hands from wrist to finger tips.
- Dry hands with paper towel.
- Grab new paper towel and shut off sink.
When should we wash our hands?
“Hand decontamination should take place before and after patient contact, after contact with the patient’s environment or body fluids, when hands are visibly soiled, before and after an aseptic procedure and after removing gloves” (Rigby,2017).
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after caring for someone who is sick
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After touching garbage
- Decontaminated hands
Reasons for Poor Hand Hygiene
- Ineffective placements of dispensers or sinks
- Hand hygiene isn’t stressed
- Ineffective of insufficient education on hand washing
- Health professionals carrying supplies and having their hands full
- Wearing gloves
- Thinking hand hygiene isn’t needed if they are wearing gloves
- Health professionals forget to wash their hands
- Distractions happen during the hand hygiene process
To prevent the spread of germs to patient to patient we in healthcare need to wash our hands and we need to continuously educate our patients and other staff members of the importance of hand hygiene. Washing your hands will save lives
Haverstick, S. (2017). Patients’ Hand Washing and Reducing Hospital-Acquired Infection. Critical Care Nurse, 37(3), e1-e8. doi:10.4037/ccn2017694
Karsh, J. A. (2017). Hand Hygiene Do’s & Don’ts. H&HN: Hospitals & Health Networks, 91(5), 39-42.
Rigby, R., Pegram, A., & Woodward, S. (2017). Hand decontamination in clinical practice: a review of the evidence. British Journal Of Nursing, 26(8), 448-451.