The Importance Of Hand Washing In A Hospital Environment

1328 words - 5 pages

Why is proper hand washing in a hospital setting vital to a patient’s health? Hospitals all across America are cracking down on employees washing their hands before and after leaving a patients room. Patients are coming in for a simple procedure and staying longer due to the fact of catching something while in the hospital. Three of the major infections patients are catching are c-Diff (clostridium Difficile), MRSA (Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus), and Norovirus. “ If employees followed the guidelines by CDC (Center for Disease Control) and their employer infections can be reduce by up to one- third” ( Creedon 208-209).
One of the major infections hospitals are seeing is C-Diff also known as clostridium Difficile. Symptoms ranges from diarrhea to life threaten inflammation of the colon. C-Diff usually occurs after antibiotic medications like penicillin and clindamycin (Deborah Sharp, RN, BSN).
C –Diff was first identified in the 1930 in the feces of healthy newborns, but the organism was not considered a pathogen (Harvard Health edu). C-Diff disrupts the normal flora in the intestine allowing the proliferation of the C-Diff bacteria.
A person staying longer in the hospital can increase their risk of catching this infection. A person with this infection can transmit the organism to others by contaminating environmental and skin surfaces. Healthcare workers become carriers through transmission that likely occurs via spores that lay dormant on their hands (Dr. Swartz)
This is why proper hand washing is essential, since healthcare workers can pass it on. Antiseptic washes and alcohol – based gels do not get rid of C-Diff. the CDC says that people should wash with antimicrobial soap using friction for 15 seconds before and after contact with a patient, and after gloves are removed.
If a patient has C-Diff they are placed on isolation and have a single patient room. This concept helps on the spread of C-Diff. In the Moses Cone Health system in Greensboro, N.C It is mandatory for a C-Diff patient to be placed on contact. The gown and gloves are hung outside the patient’s door. Everyone that enters must put on the gown and gloves. When leaving or stepping outside of the room you must dispose of the items in the trash. The hospital does not want the staff or visitors walking around with the gowns on because that can pass on the germs. This will help cut down on the spread of C-Diff to another patient and even to the staff. When the Patient leaves the room they ask for them to wash their hands. If employees and visitors would just utilize this concept the spreading of C-Diff would cut down, and so would the hospital bill.
MRSA also known as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is big in the hospital. MRSA is the term for bacteria that have acquired resistance to the Methicillin antibiotic.
It is a common bacterium. It can be found in the nose, hairy areas of the body, and moist places. This bacterium is usually harmless....

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