Day 7: Infection Control, Safety, First Aid, & Personal Wellness
Infections are a significant cause of illness, disease and death for residents that reside in certain living situations including nursing facilities. Residents of long-term care facilities are particularly at risk for infection due to the increased severity of illness experienced by residents being cared for in the facilities.
The resident is more at risk because of multiple underlying diseases, medications that reduce resistance to microorganisms, and use of medical devices such as urinary catheters to treat symptoms. Infection control is one of the most important aspects of providing a safe environment for residents. Nurse aides must understand and follow the facility’s infection control policies and procedures.
The goal of infection control is to develop and maintain an environment that minimizes the risk of acquiring or transmitting infectious agents to hospital personnel, patients, and visitors.
It is not always possible for you to know if a patient is infectious or is incubating an infection. Therefore, it is important that you understand how infections occur and follow infection control practices and policies to protect yourself and your patients from infectious agents.
When a microorganism invades the body, Multiplies, & Causes injury or disease.
Infection control measures practice in healthcare facilities to prevent and control the spread of disease
harmful microorganisms capable of causing infection or disease
Chain of Infection:
For an infection to develop, each link of a chain must be connected. Breaking any link of the chain can stop the transmission of infection
CHAIN OF INFECTION
1. Infectious (causative) agent
- Pathogenic microbe responsible for causing an infection
- Source of infectious agent
-Place where microbe can survive & grow or multiply
- Includes: humans, animals, food, water, soil, equipment
3. Portal of exit
-A way an Infectious agent Is able to leave a reservoir host
-Secretions & exudates, tissue specimens, blood, feces, urine
4. Mode of transmission
-Direct (touching, kissing)
- Indirect (contaminated objects)
- Droplet (coughing, sneezing)
- Vector (insect, arthropod, animal)
- Vehicle (food, water, drugs)
5. Portal of Entry
- Way an infectious agent enters a susceptible host
-Includes: body orifices, mucous membranes, & breaks in skin
The membranes that line body cavities, such as the mouth, nose, eyes, rectum and genitals
6. Susceptible host
- Someone with a decreased ability to resist Infection
- Factors: age, health, immune status
Types of Infections:
an infection that is confined to a specific part of the body
an infection that is in the bloodstream and is spread throughout the body
Infections that are able to spread from person to person
Nosocomial or healthcare-associated Infections (HAIs)
infections that a patient has acquired within healthcare settings that result from treatment of other conditions, caused by infected personnel, patients, visitors, food, drugs, or equipment
GENERAL APPROACHES TO PREVENT AND CONTROL INFECTIONS
Medical asepsis (Clean Technique)
Practice(s) used to remove or destroy pathogens to prevent spread of infection from one person/place or object to another person/place or object.
Wash hands with soap and water. This is the single most important practice to prevent the transmission of infection.
Any material or substance that is harmful to health, also called infectious waste (such as blood, body fluids, and human cell lines).
This waste is contaminated with potentially infectious agents or other materials that are deemed a threat to public health or the environment.
It should always be identified by a biohazard symbol
Biohazard Exposure Routes
- Non-intact skin
- Percutaneous (through the skin/needle stick)
- Permucosal (through mucous membranes/eyes)
PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Personal protective equipment
• Lab coats
• Masks, face shields, & goggles
Universal precautions are a standard of always treating blood & body fluids of all people as they are potentially Infectious
Used for all patients and is the #1 strategy for control of nosocomial infections.
Covers blood, all body fluids, skin breaks, and mucous membranes
Cleanup of Body Fluid Spills
- EPA-approved chemical solutions & kits
- Gloves must be worn
- Absorb material without spreading it over wider area
Biohazard Waste Disposal
- All non-reusable items contaminated with blood or body fluids go in biohazard waste containers
Surface Decontamination (required by OSHA)
- All surfaces In specimen collection & processing areas
- 1:10 bleach solution or other disinfectant approved by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).