Infection control is an essential aspect of healthcare, and healthcare professionals, particularly nurses, play a crucial role in preventing and controlling infectious diseases. In the following scenarios, I will discuss what actions I, as a health care provider, would take, analyze what was done correctly and incorrectly, and propose measures to improve infection control.
In this scenario, a man is recovering from a minor surgical procedure, and his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson come to visit him. The daughter-in-law appears to have a bad cold, which raises concerns about potential transmission of infection. Furthermore, the grandson, who is under the age of 10 and not permitted to visit patients in this ward, is present.
Firstly, as a nurse, I would approach the daughter-in-law and kindly request that she refrain from visiting the patient while she is sick. This is in accordance with hospital policies aimed at preventing the transmission of infections. Furthermore, I would notify the charge nurse about the presence of the grandson, who is not allowed to visit the ward.
What was done correctly in this scenario is the observation and recognition of potential infection risks. The nurse noticed the daughter-in-law sneezing and coughing into her hands, which are known modes of transmitting respiratory infections. The nurse also observed the child moving from his mother’s lap to the patient’s lap in the hospital bed, which increases the risk of transmission to the patient. Moreover, the nurse noticed the violation of the hospital policy regarding the visitation of children under the age of 10.
However, what was done incorrectly in this scenario is that the nurse did not immediately take action to prevent potential transmission of infection. Instead, the nurse merely observed the situation without intervening. To improve infection control in this scenario, the nurse should have implemented immediate measures to prevent the transmission of infection. This could involve informing the daughter-in-law about the hospital policy, requesting that she leave the ward until she recovers, and advising her on respiratory hygiene practices, such as coughing or sneezing into a tissue or elbow. Additionally, the nurse should have notified the charge nurse about the presence of the grandson, allowing appropriate action to be taken.
In this scenario, a charge nurse on a medical/surgical unit notices that a keyboard is visibly soiled and goes to get disinfectant wipes to clean it. However, upon returning, the nurse observes another nurse using the soiled keyboard and then touching a patient chart before returning to the keyboard.
What was done correctly in this scenario is the charge nurse’s immediate recognition of the visibly soiled keyboard and the decision to obtain disinfectant wipes to clean it. This demonstrates an awareness of infection control practices and the importance of maintaining a clean environment.
However, what was done incorrectly in this scenario is that both the charge nurse and the nurse who used the soiled keyboard did not effectively prevent the potential transmission of infection. The charge nurse should have intervened and informed the other nurse about the soiled keyboard before she used it. The other nurse, upon noticing the soiled keyboard, should have refrained from using it until it was properly cleaned.
To improve infection control in this scenario, the charge nurse should have immediately alerted the other nurse about the state of the keyboard upon her return. The charge nurse should have stressed the importance of not using a soiled keyboard and provided guidance on alternative keyboards or disinfecting procedures. The nurse who used the soiled keyboard should have verified its cleanliness before using it and followed proper hand hygiene practices, such as handwashing or using hand sanitizers, after using the keyboard and before touching patient-related materials.
In conclusion, infection control is of utmost importance in healthcare, and health care professionals, particularly nurses, have a significant role to play in preventing and controlling infectious diseases. In the presented scenarios, it is evident that certain measures were followed correctly, while others were overlooked. To improve infection control, immediate action should be taken in similar situations, such as enforcing hospital policies, educating patients and visitors about infection prevention practices, and promoting proper hand hygiene and cleanliness in the healthcare environment.