A home-based patient is the one who receives healthcare attention and comfort at home (Huber, 2009). One of the major reasons for receiving healthcare at home is because the patient cannot travel to the hospital, due to physical complications (Turkoski, 2005). Moreover, it could be that the needed health facilities are highly taxed or require a considerably large amount of financial resources to access them. Home-based services may include the supply of medical equipment and physical therapy.
It is important to note that home-based patient care services should be provided by a skilled nurse (Campton-Johnston & Wilson, 2001). As a leader, I intend to promote a project on how to reduce and prevent wound infections among home-based patients. Therefore, this paper aims at illustrating how skilled nursing can reduce and prevent wound infections among home-based patients. The paper will also discuss the factors that aggravate wound infections, susceptibility factors, means of transmission, and risks reduction methods. Finally, this paper will expound on evidence-based practices and leadership skills intended to bring about changes in nursing care.
Factors Aggravating Wound Infections
Numerous predisposing factors increase the occurrence of wound infections among home-based patients. Identifying such factors helps one to develop accurate and guided solutions to cure wound infections (Turkoski, 2005). To understand the major factors leading to increased wound infections among home health patients, one has to consider the sources of infections, host susceptibility, and the means of transmission.
Source of infections
Patients can get exposed to exogenous microorganisms that are present in the environment while receiving medical care. It is important to note that viruses, bacteria, and fungi can be present in the patient’s clothing, skin and mucus membranes (Turkoski, 2005). This explains why there is a need to introduce changes in the environment to enhance hygiene thus reducing the spread of wound infections among home-based patients.
A patient’s immunity can be compromised by surgical treatments, age, degree of illness, and immunosuppressive drugs (Turkoski, 2005). This makes patients more susceptible to wound infections as compared to their healthy counterparts (Huber, 2009). Such patients should be put under very intense care since any level of infection may deteriorate their state of health. Having this information in mind, I intend to eliminate some of the nursing practices that increase the occurrence of host susceptibility such as excessive use of immunosuppressive drugs.
Means of transmission
Contact with airborne or respiratory droplets and sharing personal services are some of the major ways through which microorganisms that cause wound infections can be transmitted from one person or surface to another (Turkoski, 2005). A study done on 1,022 cases of patients with wound infections outbreak showed that the main means of transmission include contaminated patient’s healthcare personnel. These include drugs or food, contaminated patient care equipment, and medical devices (Campton-Johnston and Wilson, 2001). Therefore, I intend to use my nursing skills to enlighten patients on how to avoid contact with contaminated materials to curb the spread of wound infections.
Prevention and Risk Reduction
Considering the factors that lead to increased rates of contamination, several measures and precautions can be undertaken to reduce and prevent wound infections. These include maintaining hand hygiene, environmental cleanliness, proper use of personal safety equipment, and use of safe medical devices (Turkoski, 2005).
Hand hygiene simply means keeping hands clean and free from contaminants. In most cases, it is very important to maintain the quality of life of a patient by preventing infections in the wounds. As a leader of a nursing care program, I will ensure that medical staff strictly adhere to regular inspections program to ensure that they observe all manners of hygiene (Rush University Medical Center, 2013).
Moreover, I will make regular updates on evidence-based guidelines on nursing procedures to facilitate environmental and equipment hygiene. It is also important to ensure that the nursing project keeps abreast with evidence-based practices (Turkoski, 2005). As a leader, I will ensure that I maintain hand hygiene by embracing effective guidelines as recommended by Consensus Measurement of Hand Hygiene (CMHH) (Campton-Johnston and Wilson, 2001)
It is important to note that the environment of the home living by a patient plays an important role in causing or preventing wound infections. Therefore, maintaining cleanliness is a vital way of reducing and preventing wound infections. Contacts surfaces, clothing, and people that live with the patient constitute the environment. In this case, they act as contamination agents in one way or the other (Turkoski, 2005).
Measures such as the use of fresh gloves, use of disinfectants such as germicides, use of hypochlorite-based products, and other safe disinfectants should be taken to avoid wound infections (Turkoski, 2005). Surgical wounds and other kinds of lesions are to be kept clean and sterile at all times. It is also important to advise families and friends visiting the patients on issues related to cleanliness and hand hygiene. Most importantly, medical equipment and drugs should be stored and administered according to global health standards (Turkoski, 2005).
The choice of medication is also important in preventing infections. Proper and careful use of safety equipment and devices also helps to prevent wound infections in home-based patients. The use of a fresh or clean pair of gloves at any time helps to protect the patients and the nurses from getting infections. The wounds should also be kept sterile and clean to avoid opportunistic contamination by bacteria and other microorganisms (Bennet, 2013).
Leadership and Evidence-Based-Practice
Evidence-based practice is the act of making clinical or patient-care-based decisions considering current and available evidence to solve problems (Huber, 2009). Home healthcare providers must get updated with current and accurate evidence to be able to respond to impending health problems (Bennet, 2013). This will also help nurses to cope with the changes in resistivity of microorganisms and diverse ways by which patients respond to infection and treatment administered to them. When one keeps abreast with Evidence-based practices, it becomes possible to make the right decisions when faced with certain health problems. In this case, one can use the right disinfectants, follow appropriate hygiene procedures and ensure proper storage of equipment (Campton-Johnston and Wilson, 2001).
Evidence-based practices help to improve the outcome of patient health. Such practices promote the provision of appropriate healthcare services to the patients and their families (Bennet, 2013).
In any organization, the style of leadership determines the outcomes of its daily activities. The leader drives the values, behavior, and performance in an organization (Bennet, 2013). Therefore, there is an urgent need to have a good leadership forum to make prompt responses geared toward preventing the spread of wound infections (Huber, 2009).
Appropriate leadership should be put in place to ensure that measures of reducing risk are put in place. This will facilitate the establishment of a wound infection control unit (Rush University Medical Center, 2013). As a leader, one should be fully equipped with skills and resources to be able to inspect, prepare and present a comprehensive report on the trend of wound infections among the patients in homes. The report should be accompanied by recommendations thus making it possible to reduce and prevent wound infections (Campton-Johnston and Wilson, 2001)
Since nurses have a unique opportunity of being in direct contact with home patients, it is also important for the leadership to provide them with various opportunities to get updated with evidence-based practices that will help them to deliver the best healthcare services to patients and their families (Bennet, 2013). The proposed leadership aims at providing support to explore and discover the best evidence-based practices. It will also embark on funding transitional research, promoting a culture of evidence-based practices, and disseminating best nursing practices (Huber, 2009). Eventually, this will improve nursing practices hence reducing and preventing wound infections in home-based patients.
The leadership in the organization will establish training programs to ensure that nursing personnel provides appropriate homecare services to the patient. This will foster capacity building in their area of specialization (Huber, 2009).
In a nutshell, it is important that a nursing leader ought to have an in-depth understanding of the factors that increase wound infections, risk reduction methods, and how to embark on evidence-based practices. This knowledge plays an important role while caring for home-based patients. As a leader in a nursing organization, I intend to embark on evidence-based practices in order to reduce and prevent wound infections among home-based patients. The use of evidence-based practices will effectively reduce and prevent the spread of wound infections in home-based patients.
Bennett, C. (2013.). Evidence-Based Practice on ADVANCE for Nurses. ADVANCE for Nurses. Web.
Campton-Johnston, S., & Wilson, J. (2001). Infected Wound Management: Advanced Technologies, Moisture-Retentive Dressings, And Die-Hard Methods. Critical Nursing Care Quarterly , 24(2), 64-77.
Huber, D. (2009). Leadership and Nursing Care Management. New York: Mosby Elsevier Saunders, Inc.
Rush University Medical Center. (2013). Shared Governance in Nursing, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois. Rush University Medical Center: Top US & Chicago Hospital. Web.
Turkoski, B. (2005). Fighting infection: An ongoing challenge, part 1. Orthopedic Nursing, 24(1), 40-46.