How Germs Are Spread
The most common way to spread germs is through touch. Anytime we touch a person or an object, we have the chance of picking up germs. If the hands are dirty, germs can spread easily. Germs as definitely a fact of life. Some germs are harmless and we don't even know they are present. Germs can spread when a person coughs or sneezes.
Prevention And Control Guidelines
- The single most important way to prevent the spread of infection is to wash your hands. This means to wash your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
- The cleaning of equipment, surfaces, and instruments after each use is very important.
- The patient rooms are to be cleaned every day and between each patient. A disinfective should be used in order to kill germs.
- If a patient is known or even suspected of having a contagious infection, they should be placed on isolation precautions. This is very important because it helps stop the spread of the infection. Protective clothing or PPE (personal protective equipment), should be worn by the staff or visitors that enter the room.
- Healthcare personnel should always use protective equipment such as gloves, gowns, masks, and eye protection, in order to prevent the spread of disease. The extent of the precautions depends on the disease.
Patients Can Help
Often the patient's condition weakens the immune system, along with their ability to fight off the infection. Sometimes, no matter what precautions the staff takes or what guidelines they follow, the patient can become ill. It is very important that you work together to reduce the chance that the patient gets an infection.
- Washing your hands is the most effective way to prevent infection, this cannot be stressed enough. The patient should clean their hands after using the bathroom, after touching any item or surface, and when they eat.
- Request that visitors or caregivers wash their hands.
- Ask that visitors or relatives do not visit if they have a cold or fever.
Always remember, you need to protect the patient, but you also want to protect yourself. Wash your hands, wash your hands, and wash your hands. This cannot be stressed enough. It is the number one way to protect everyone. So go by the policies and procedures of your facility and be safe.