For many in the health care profession, focusing on the future is incredibly important. Infection control issues are part of today’s concern. There are many factors when dealing with infection control and some of those factors include patient compliance, proper hygiene among medical care professionals, and communication.
While some patients listen to everything that they’re told, there is a vast amount of patients that do not heed the advice of their attending physicians or medical staff. Because of this, it’s often the case that medicine isn’t always taken and therefore infections continue to spread. With each infected individual, the chance of mutation of the infection grows. It’s vital that patients begin to listen to their healthcare providers so that the medical field can gain a foothold and stay ahead in the game.
However, infection control issues aren’t to be placed solely on noncompliant patients. Unfortunately, it’s been realized during mandatory audit, that hand hygiene within the medical field isn’t happening the way it should be in every case. Yes, many times the staff is rushed and many times emergencies hit, but they represent the reason as to why hygiene is so important in this profession.
Employees sometimes feel that what they are doing “works” or is “good enough”. There should be no room for mere adequacy. As a healthcare professional, it is a matter of professional duty to make certain that things be handled according to educational directive and protocol. Many workers find that changing habits is irritating or simply hard to break. There are many factors leading to infection control issues that need to be considered more diligently.
Often, it comes down to how an individual is trained. The trainer of a specific individual was, himself, trained. Bad habits can be passed on to students very easily. Speaking with employees about their bad habits can be a touchy subject due to their thought process of, “I’ve always done it this way”. As challenging as it may be, you, as the Director, must see these changes through. Likewise, medical assistants need to have the confidence to speak up to the doctor or administrator and explain why an instrument’s prep time will take a little longer than normal. Following a manufacturer’s instructions is just as vital for physicians as it is for others.
In closing, it can be very difficult to ascertain when and where an infection occurred. It will require much backtracking and the hope that all records of where the patient was will help in locating the source. This means that every single instrument that was used and a step by step account of the entire procedure be noted and considered. It is, in no way, a simple matter to backtrack. You have no way of knowing where the patient went after they left your care or if they were practicing proper hygiene. This lack of information doesn’t cause a bump in the road so much as tosses a mountain between you and the knowledge that you need. Answers take time and yet it’s the one thing that infection control doesn’t really have much of.
Learn how to STOP losing your best nurses, IMPROVE your patient outcomes, and DECREASE your staffing costs. Download the free webinar transcript here w/ special guest LeAnn Thieman, Hall of Fame Speaker, Nurse, and Co-Author of the book Chicken Soup for the Nurse Soul. Go here to download your free copy.