The outbreak of infection must be dealt with using, correct control procedures
Hand hygiene is an important part of preventing the spread of infection. It reduces the amount of bacteria present on the hands, therefore reducing the number of patients contracting the infection and becoming ill.
Hand Washing Technique
In health and social care settings there is a specific handwashing technique that employees are obliged to do, this technique is a step by step process that ensures that all areas of the hands have been covered. The process starts with turning on the tap and rinsing your hands then adding the soap. Following this is the process of washing the palms of your hands, the back of your hands, between the fingers, your nails, thumbs, center of your palms and then finishing off with your wrists. After, rinse your hands with your fingers facing up, so the water runs down towards your elbows. This is important because it helps to prevent the recontamination of your hands from the other bacteria, further up your arm that was not washed properly. Most health and social care settings will have tapes that have long handles on, it is advised to turn of the tap using your elbows this ensures that your hands do not get contaminated again.
Use of Alcohol Gels and Antiseptics
In health and social care settings it is important to know the different situations on which you can either use antiseptics (soap and water) or gel. It is appropriate to use antiseptics for almost all situations such as before and after eating, visiting patients and medical visits. However, alcohol gels can only be used for visiting patients and medical visits. According to livescience.com (2017) states that, “While antibacterial gels can quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands, they do not eliminate all types of germs.”
It is important that an individual in the health and social care setting to always dry their hands thoroughly with a one-use paper towel. At the end of the hand washing technique there is a certain way of drying the wet hands. To dry your hands properly it is advised to pat the disposable paper towel along all the wet areas on your hands e.g. palms, between fingers and under and around the nails. This drying technique insures that there is no moister left for bacteria to thrive.
Skin care is extremely vital for employees working in health and social care settings. The continuous procedure of the washing of hands, can cause an individual’s skin to dry, which then leads to irritation and breaks in the surface of the skin which can be gateways for bacteria. Michie et al (2008) advises that “using emollient hand cream which soften and soothes the skin and protects it from drying” he also states that, “hand creams should not be shared because there is a risk of cross contamination”
There should be separate facilities for the procedures of washing and drying hands Needs Finishing
Use of appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
There are many different types of PPE’s that are used for different duties depending on their levels of risks, (Classroom Notes, 2017). The use of PPE’ s such as, gloves and aprons are ways to help protect against infections among employees and service users. Wearing well fitted gloves on placement is important as they potentially help to reduce the amount of skin contact that body fluids may reach to. Michie et al (2008) states that, “washing gloves is not safe and hands must always be washed before putting gloves on.” This helps to guarantee that the spread of infection is reduced. Aprons are also useful types of PPE, they’re used to shield away things like bodily fluids i.e. blood, from clothing and some parts of the skin. Aprons used are usually single use this means that once used it needs to be thrown away this aids to the reduction of the transfers of microorganisms. Full-Body-Fluid-Repellent Gowns are used “for procedures where there is a risk of extensive splashing of bodily fluids or waste onto a worker’s skin or clothing.” (Michie et al, 2008)
An individual on placement in a health and social care should consider how clean they are, as well as knowing what they need to do with their hair, nails, body and jewellery. Service providers should ensure that their hair is tied back, nails are short and clean, body is washed regularly, and jewellery is placed away. Employees can help service users to maintain their personal hygiene by asking them how they would like to be helped with that situation. For example, if you are caring for a service user who doesn’t like bathing as much try to encourage them by asking them questions such as “what would you like in the bath/ shower with you?”, “do you want bubbles in the bath?”
These questions may help to influence them to bathe more regularly because they have chosen how they would like it to be. According to nhs.uk (2017), “To maintain daily personal hygiene, you should make sure: your hands are washed after you’ve used the toilet, your genitals and anal area are washed every day, your face is washed daily, you’re fully bathed or showered at least twice a week, your teeth are brushed twice a day.”
Individuals can help to maintain cleanliness in their working environments, to reduce the spread of infection, by monitoring the areas that they are working in then reporting and sorting out the levels of cleanliness that they have noticed. All materials and equipment used by service providers should always be sterilised before and after used. The sterilisation of the equipment’s and materials used will drastically reduce the potential risks of infection as well as increasing the levels of cleanliness of the setting.
Principles of Isolation Nursing
Isolation nursing is the procedure of separating and treating an individual or a group of service users, who are infected with the same infection, away from others who have not contracted that infection. This allows a controlled setting for the nurses to treat people without the risk of spreading what they may have contracted to others around them. Staff working with the role of an isolation nurse must wear the correct PPE, such as plastic aprons, disposable gloves and masks. This helps to protect the staff from getting the infectious disease, which then helps to protect their families and the people who they may encounter as well. “An assessment must be made of who may visit. For, pregnant women should be asked to stay if the patient has chickenpox or shingles. Babies, elderly people and visitors who are sick themselves should not visit as they are susceptible hosts.” (Classroom Notes, 2017)
Prevention of sharps injury
Examples of sharp instruments are, needles and blades these can causes injuries which are classed as a ‘sharps injuries’, there are procedures put in place for the use of the instruments and for when a sharps injury occurs. Ways to prevent a sharps injury for an employee, is to always follow the right steps given for the use of a sharps instrument. As for the employers they need to ensure that they provide the correct training for the use of a sharps instrument. “Since the late 1990s, at least 17 healthcare workers have contracted hepatitis C and there have been five documented cases of HIV transmission.” (nice.org.uk, 2017). This was due to sharps injuries contaminating their blood with other bodily fluids.
Ways to prevent sharps injuries is to know and follow safe practice procedures at all times and to know what to do in the event of a sharps injury. All individuals should know to stop what they are doing, then go to wash and rinse the affected area. They should know that they should never suck the wound as that could spread infection to more places inside of your body, which may be harder to treat. After dry the wound and apply a plaster or dressing to help prevent contamination. Seek urgent medical advice then report your injury to your employer. Another way that supports the prevention of sharp injuries is to store all sharp instruments away in an organised, secured cupboard. This helps to prevent others e.g. service users and children, from being at risk of harm or injury. Individuals are also advised to not dismantle any sharps by hand, as doing so could lead to injury. When disposing of sharps it is important that you place them in the yellow tubed bin one by one, if someone tried forcing more in it is more likely that a sharps injury could occur. (Classroom Notes, 2017).
If you see somebody not following the correct procedures you are allowed to confront or report them,to the hNeeds Finishing
Occupational Health for Staff
The spread of infection among food is very high however there are many ways to handle food to prevent the infection from happening. One way to fight against infection is to always make sure that food is always stored correctly. For example, if on a packet it has advised for you to store that certain food in a freezer, individuals should always follow the given instructions, as they have been placed to enable safe practice when handling the food product. “Freezers should be less than -18C,” (classroom notes, 2017). The temperate of places on which food is stored is extremely important as it is provided so that pathogens such as bacteria are able to be controlled.
There are three main ways that food can become contaminated, this is either biologically, physically or chemically. To be classed as being biologically contaminated is when the food has been infected with pathogens such as bacteria, this is harmful because bacteria are fast growing organisms, therefore they are able to colonise and infect that food item very quickly. If a food is has been physically contaminated it means that it an object may have been dropped into it. Objects like jewellery e.g. earrings, hairs and nails are most likely to cause physical contamination to food, as they are small items so are easily hidden or disguised by the food.
There are some foods that pose more of a risk than others, an individual may have allergies to certain foods so they must be given access to the ingredients to what they may eat. “Almost any food can cause an allergic reaction, but there are certain foods that are responsible for most food allergies. In children, the foods that most commonly cause an allergic reaction are: milk. Eggs. Peanuts. Tree nuts. Fish. Shellfish.” (nhs.uk, 2017). These foods should be written in bold on ingredient lists to inform people.
According to Allergytraining.food.gov.uk (2017) “Allergenic ingredients must be indicated in list of ingredients with clear reference to name of the substance or product as listed in Annex II of the EU Food Information for Consumers Regulation No.1169/2011 and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No. 78/2014 amending Annex II to Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011.”
Raw foods are also high risk foods as bacteria like to grow on them, this is why we have to make sure that we fully cook are foods. The heat is really helpful in killing bacteria because bacteria start to die at around 90C, whereas ovens can produce heat to about 180C.Bacteria are more prone in raw meats such as chicken, beef, pork and lamb, the bacteria growing on these can cause, food poisoning two main bacteria’s are E.coli and Salmonella.
Soiled laundry management.
There are many guidelines given for when handling soiled linen. One of these guidelines is to “always use the correct and disposable PPE.” This helps to prevent the splashes of bodily fluids onto your skin or clothing, as well as reducing the risk of cross contamination. Another guideline given is to “use the correct colour-coded bag making sure that lightly soiled linen goes in a white cotton sack and that heavily soiled linen is placed into a red cotton sack.” This allows the process of getting rid of them easier as they have already been sorted into groups, without spreading the fluids everywhere for example, the floor. Individuals are also advised to “place inner water-soluble bags in the washing machine and launder with detergent at 65C for a minimum of 10 minutes within the wash cycle…,” also all “…Uniforms should be changed daily.” This also helps to reduce the spread of infection as individuals have gotten rid of possible infected clothes, leaving themselves and others e.g. service users with no possibilities of contracting something. (Michie et al, 2017).
Procedures for handling, storage and disposal of waste
Sharps, household waste
The safety of the disposal of sharps should be highly respected in all health and social care settings. “Health care employers, their contractors and employees have legal obligations under the health and safety (Sharps instruments in healthcare). All employers are required to ensure that risks from sharps injuries are adequately assessed and appropriate control measures are in place.” (Classroom notes, 2017)
There are many items that are classed as sharps and there are procedures put in place to control/prevent infection from a ‘sharps’ …Needs Finishing
House hold waste includes: paper, flowers, food and cans. It is important for individuals living in a household to know where different types should be stored. In the UK there are 4 main coloured bins that help separate different materials for waste or for recycle, these are Brown, Blue, Green and Black/grey. The brown bin is used for cans, glass, foil, aerosol cans and plastic bottles. The blue bin includes: cardboard and paper. Green bins are used to recycle items such as, food waste (e.g. meat) and vegetation (e.g. plants and grass clippings). The Black/grey bin is used for general waste such as nappies, cling film, and plastic carrier bags. The things that are supposed to go into general waste bins can’t be recycled. Shaanoun, H. (2017), “Household wastes are categorised as non-clinical and non-contaminated waste.”