Infection Control is more than washing your hands

Infection Control is more than washing your hands

Anyone who has been in a hospital or GP surgery will have seen the many hand sanitising stations dotted around all over the place.

We’re encouraged to regularly cleanse our hands because of the very real danger of bringing new contaminations into areas where vulnerable people are being treated.

Studies have shown that we are facing an increase in antibiotic-resistant strains of infection so the correct approach to infection control is an essential part of your care plan.

But infection control is about more than just ensuring your hands are clean. Living areas, medical equipment, clothing and bedding also need to be kept clean and free of possible contaminants. For example: some individuals may be wearing catheters or have other semi-permanent invasive treatments such as vascular access devices. When checking wound sites and replacing equipment, the correct cleansing procedures must be adhered to. And of course there’s the correct method for the disposal of waste materials (dressings, bandages, gloves etc) as well as proper ‘Sharps’ procedures for dealing with used syringes and needles.

Certain environments such as Care Homes have particular issues to deal with in regard to Infection Control. It’s very easy for a single case of mild infection to spread quickly around other residents, particularly an airborne infection, such as influenza. Communal areas are hotspots for transferring infection so keeping tables, chairs and shared items such as games and books clean are just as important as the more obvious aspects of minimising any potential spread.

And don’t forget that keeping infection at bay isn’t just about the people you’re caring for. Disease doesn’t care who it infects and carers are just as vulnerable to cross-contamination. A simple slip or moment of distraction can have a widespread impact.

Protecting yourself and the individuals you’re caring for also requires an understanding of the correct use of PPE, or Personal Protective Equipment. This means the protective gloves and aprons, shoe covers and similar which are common features in nursing and care. Whether it’s caring for someone in their own home or in a residential surrounding, correct application of procedures regarding PPE cannot be ignored.
As our knowledge of how infections occur and are transmitted improves, staying up to date on all the latest procedures and training is vital. Flexible Training can help with arranging a course for you so why not give Becky a call on 01462 222300 and make sure that you and the people you look after stay clean, healthy and free from infection!