Healthcare is provided to patients in different settings throughout the world. Whether the patients receive medical attention in makeshift clinics or in technologically advanced hospitals, there are chances that they may get infected by disease spreading micro organisms…
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Healthcare is provided to patients in different settings throughout the world. Whether the patients receive medical attention in makeshift clinics or in technologically advanced hospitals, there are chances that they may get infected by disease spreading micro organisms.These infections cause discomfort to the patient and hinder the recovery process and in severe cases may even cause death.As the cost of treatment also increases,the hospital acquired infections are actually a burden on the government as well.The extended stay of the patient results in the loss of work thereby depleting his/her financial resources. Ever since the hospital acquired infections were identified, steps have been taken to control them and over the years the frequency of occurrence has largely decreased. The hospital staff, especially the nursing unit, actively participates in keeping the infection occurrence down to ensure a speedy recovery and better quality of healthcare. One of the important duties assigned to me as a staff nurse is to prevent hospital acquired infections among patients. Infections prolong the stay of the patient by impeding the recovery process and they may also affect other patients and the hospital staff. According to Nemerow, Agardy and Salvato (2009, p. 156) the data collected over the years shows that fifty percent of the infections are preventable if proper measures are taken. It is therefore mandatory for a staff nurse to educate the patients and their visitors about the dangers of infections and their prevention. Though all the wards in the hospital are susceptible to hospital acquired infections, in this essay I will mainly focus on respiratory ward where I work as a staff nurse. The respiratory ward in a hospital provides full range of treatment to patients suffering from various respiratory diseases such as asthma, lung cancer, sleep apnoea, cystic fibrosis, bronchiectasis, TB (tuberclosis) and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). The staff at the respiratory ward comprises of a team of consultant doctors, nurse consultants and specialist nursing teams as well as health professionals for respiratory physiology and physiotherapy among others. Like other wards in the hospital, nursing team is the backbone of the respiratory ward. The Nursing Team Nurse consultants are highly experienced registered nurse who work directly with the patients and ensure that the best medical services are conveniently available to them and that they (the patients) benefit from the best nursing skills. The nurse consultants also contribute towards the education and training of colleagues and are responsible for evaluating care delivered to the patients (Freshwater et al (eds.) 1994, p. 400). In the respiratory ward the nurse consultant supports respiratory patients and their families through primary and secondary care interface (Clancy 2007, p. 28). The nurse specialist is a nurse with a master’s degree in an advanced clinical area and work for the improvement of the quality of life of the patient (Lundy and Janes 2009, p. 1068). They are supported by staff nurses; staff nurses take complete care of the patients assigned to them in a hospital (Peate 2012, p. 29). The duties of a staff nurse revolve around clinical activities, administrative activities, educative activities, supervisory activities and communication activities. Infection prevention is the top most priority in the respiratory ward where I work. Being a nurse I can play an important role in reducing the possibility of hospital acquired infections. This is because during training the nurses are imparted the necessary knowledge and equipped with the essential skills to help patient recover swiftly as well as lowering the chances of hospital acquired infections (Goldrick 2006, p. 380). Nosocomial infections or the hospital acquired infections are those infections that develop within the hospital; usually within forty eight to seventy two hours (Qayyum, Sattar and Waqas 2010, p. 168). The occurrence of hospital
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