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The Nurses' Role in the Prevention of Healthcare-associated Infections - Essay Example

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Topic: Nurses' Role in the Prevention of Healthcare-associated Infections Name: Ana L Martorell Class: ENC1101 Final Research Paper School: Management Resources Institute Submitted to: Sonia Pinnock May 25, 2013 Nurses' Role in the Prevention of Healthcare-associated Infections Abstract Nurses play a very important role in the prevention of hospital acquired infections…
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The Nurses' Role in the Prevention of Healthcare-associated Infections

Download file to see previous pages... The introduction is followed by an explanation of what prevention strategies must be adopted by nurses, in order to prevent the occurrence and transfer of infection in the healthcare setting. Important strategies like hand hygiene, antiseptic technique, disinfectant usage, and removal of unnecessary devices from the healthcare setting are discussed. The report is summarized in a concluding paragraph; and, APA referencing style has been used properly throughout the paper. Introduction Nurses’ role in infection prevention cannot be denied, as they have manifold opportunities of practicing their nursing skills and knowledge to prevent hospital acquired infections. They can help the patient to recover fast by diminishing the complications of the infection. Benson and Powers (2011, p.36, par.1) write in their article: According to the CDC, hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) account for an estimated 1.7 million infections and 99,000 associated deaths each year in American hospitals. A recent study found HAIs to be the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, costing the healthcare industry $6 billion annually. This situation has made the health care providers concerned about the provision of high quality health related services to the patients, so that patient safety may be ensured. Nurses are those professionals who have the opportunity of providing health care services and preventing infections right at the bedside of the patients, thus, having a direct impact upon their health, safety, morbidity, and mortality. Within a multidisciplinary healthcare team, nurses utilize nursing-sensitive indicators to prevent infections. This helps them acquire nursing-sensitive positive outcomes, in the form of changes in patients’ understanding of infection symptom and associated emotional suffering. Nurses lead the entire team in preventing infections through utilization of a myriad of strategies described below. Infection Prevention Strategies Nurses may help in infection prevention through utilization of strategies that are effective enough to ensure patient safety. One such strategy is hand hygiene. Nurses should not only practice hand hygiene themselves, but should also encourage the patients to adopt it. Nurses’ hands are the direct transfer path of infective pathogens from them to patients, from where these travel across patients and finally across the whole healthcare environment. Last year, I was admitted to a hospital, and my nurse would always perform hand hygiene before and after every patient contact. He would also perform regular antiseptic technique, which prevented the infection from transferring from the equipment to the patients. I drew the conclusion that antiseptics minimized the contamination caused by pathogens when the nurse started a peripheral I.V. line or rubbed the core of an I.V. connector prior to injection. Antiseptic usage ensured the absence of pathogen organisms responsible for infection. Another important technique is to clean and disinfect the nursing-related equipment and tools, like sterilization. Since the medical tools are applied on multiple patients, it is important for nurses to clean and disinfect them as frequent as possible, so as to prevent the transfer of infection. Dust and pathogens collect on environmental surfaces which, if not ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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