Nurses are always at frontline as far as prevention of healthcare- associated infections are concerned. This can be facilitated by their closeness to the patients and also their application of practices meant to control infections and transmission of diseases and organisms to the patients. Nurses prevent infection directly by providing knowledge to the patients about transmission of diseases from one patient to another (Bullock, Clark and Rycroft, 2012). Additionally, they monitor and ensure that there is a total compliance to hygiene measures in order to avoid transmission of diseases among the patients. In order to avoid healthcare associated infections, nurses have to follow some strategies, which aim at maintaining high standards of cleanliness.
The first strategy they use is observance of hands cleanliness. This can be done through washing of hands using antiseptics which kill pathogens and other disease causing microorganisms. In addition, clean hands prevent infection among the patients because soap or antibiotic kills the microorganisms in the hands of the patients (Bullock, Clark and Rycroft, 2012). Nurses in hospitals that value cleanliness have a habit of monitoring their patients and reminding them the importance of keeping hands clean. Additionally, nurses have a duty to keep their own hands clean by using gloves that they discard after attending to each and every patient. Further, nurses have a role to convince patients who come from areas that have deep-rooted traditions that disregard cleanliness of hands the importance of clean hands in disease control. In addition, the nurses have a role to monitor and evaluate the hands’ hygiene to adhere to keep cleanliness standards in order to control infections.
The environment surrounding the patients has a wide variety of microorganisms which arise as a result of the patient being in contact with the surrounding objects (Bullock, Clark and Rycroft, 2012). Additionally, despite nurses wearing their gloves, they come into contact with other objects which may transmit diseases. In an effort to prevent infections, nurses maintain high standards of cleanliness in patients’ surroundings. Additionally, they also make sure that they sterilize their equipment to avoid infection and disease transmission. Additionally, nurses comply with procedures relating to cleanliness and disinfection especially to beds, doorknobs and charts just to mention but a few. Further, nurses advise patients on the importance of clean environment in order to prevent spread of diseases through contact. They also make sure that the used items are disposed-off to avoid infection. Nurses could also provide quality leadership to the patients, which reduce the chances of infection and disease transmission. For instance, they advice the patients on how to use the drugs and advise them on the diet they should take. Further, nurses are in a position to understand the best practices to apply in order to reduce disease contamination. Further, they play a great role in the management of resources because they understand the problems that face their clients in a given region (Bullock, Clark and Rycroft, 2012).Generally, nurses provide leadership to the patients and the seniors because often what they propose to be implemented can result in excellent outcomes.
In an effort to reduce chances of infection, nurses make better use of equipments meant for personal diseases infection prevention. In this regard, they wear gloves on their hands to prevent direct contact with infected persons (Koutoukidis, Stainton, Hughson and Tabbner, 2013). Further, face mask and protective eye wear prevent chances of medicine entering into their eyes, mouth and nose. Gown is meant to prevent direct contact with the patient, which can result in contamination. Generally, nurses through better handling of equipment play a great part as far as disease contamination control is concerned.
Viruses related to respiratory problems can easily be transmitted in hospitals and dispensaries especially if there is congestion. Viruses are spread through coughing, sneezing or while talking. Nurses advise family members of the patient on how to handle the patient in case of a respiratory problem. For example, they advise the patient to cover the mouth while coughing or sneezing to prevent spreading the disease to the rest of the family members. In the situations when the infection is serious, they offer masks to the people who have not been infected. Further, nurses wear masks while handling a respiratory disorder patient in order to avoid infection.
Nurses also educate people about antimicrobial use and their resistance to diseases. Additionally, in an effort to fight diseases, they are actively involved in research to find the best drugs to administer (Koutoukidis, Stainton, Hughson and Tabbner, 2013). In addition, they advise the patients on the best drug to use before the critical levels are reached. Further, they implement programs that monitor antibiotics and antimicrobial use in order to understand the best treatment to administer.
Nurses periodically evaluate the practices for diseases control. This can be done in order to ascertain whether the disease control measures put in place are effective and efficient (Koutoukidis, Stainton, Hughson and Tabbner, 2013). Further, the evaluation enables them to identify areas that require improvement and what exactly needs to be done to correct the mistakes that could have resulted from the wrong implementation. Additionally, the evaluation enables them to identify their strengths and capitalize on them to overcome the weaknesses. Generally, without evaluation, it could be impossible to identify the areas that require improvement.
Bullock, I., Clark, J. M., & Rycroft-Malone, J. (2012). Adult nursing practice: Using evidence in care. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Koutoukidis, G., Stainton, K., Hughson, J., & Tabbner, A. R. (2013). Tabbner’s nursing care: Theory and practice. Chatswood: Churchill Livingstone.