Over the years there have been various efforts to reduce the risk of nosocomial infections, or infections that occur during a hospital admission.
We pick our noses, blow our noses, sneeze snot, spit when we talk, reach our hands in our pockets and touch our dirty stethoscopes and beepers. Plus there are many patients and visitors who carry a plethora of germs to share.
- Use hand sanitizer often
- Wash hands often
- Wear gloves often, and then wash hands too
- Gown, glove and wear a mask to prevent droplets from getting on you if patient is suspected of having the flu or MRSA. These bugs are not airbourne, so you don't need an airtight mask (I say this despite the CDC recommendations, but they have to err on the side of caution).
- wear a mask if a patient is coughing (common sense)
- wear a mask during all breathing treatments (nebs produce droplets)
- wear a gown in a patient's room (droplets may land on you and live up to 45 minutes)
- use hand sanitizer after touching anything in a patients room
- use hand sanitizer before and after touching your stethescope
- use hand sanitizer before and after touching your beeper
- use hand sanitizer upon entering a room
- use hand sanitizer upon leaving a room
- wash your hands with soap and water after you are done with your rounds
- wash your hands with soap and water after leaving an isolation room
- wash your hands after every time you take off your glovesI don't think we purposely share germs, but there probably are some RTs who don't wash their hands and use proper hygiene and therefore inadvertently spread germs and cause nosocomial diseases. Likewise, we RTs are taking care of patients all over the hospital, and therefore we come in contact with an array of patients with an array of diseases. The best recommendation for preventing nosocomial diseases is hand washing.