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The nurses'role in the prevention of healt care -associated - Essay Example

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Nurses' Role in the Prevention of Healthcare-Associated Infections The growing rate of health care–associated infections (HAIs) is quite alarming and this has considerably increased the role of heath care nurses in preventing such infections. Healthcare-associated infections refer to those infections acquired by the patients once they are admitted into hospitals…
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Download file to see previous pages als, and nurses. This essay seeks to explore the various roles played by nurses in preventing or reducing incidence of infections and in doing so the essay also deals with the various patient risk factors for HAIs. Patient Risk Factors for Health Care–Associated Infections It is also worthwhile to analyse the various patient risk factors for HAIs that the nurses need to address for preventing the growing incidence of infections among admitted patients. Nurses have to identify the three elements that contribute to the transmission of infection within a health care setting: “a source of infecting microorganisms, a susceptible host, and a means of transmission for the microorganism to the host” (Collins, 2008, p. 3). Very often HAIs among patients occur when they are exposed to such microorganisms as bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa from other patients, healthcare professionals or visitors. Similarly, infections can also be transmitted to patients from the hospital environment, contaminated drugs or food, or from medical equipments and devices. Age, type of medical treatment, organ transplantations, surgical procedures, and the severity of illness are potential contributing factors for HAIs. Therefore, it is the responsibility of healthcare nurses to ensure that such microorganisms are never spread among admitted patients through direct or indirect contact, respiratory droplets, or through air. The Role of nurses in preventing healthcare associated infections Nurses have a pivotal responsibility in managing and preventing healthcare associated infections among their patients. Every hospital needs to have a competent infection prevention system and the role of the healthcare nurse is “to maintain surveillance of healthcare-associated infections throughout the hospital” (Koutoukidis, Stainton &Hughson, 2012, p. 389). For this, nurses need to be equipped with professional excellence, theoretical knowledge and practical strategies to prevent or control infections and transmission of organisms to patients admitted in their healthcare settings. Special training is to be offered to nurses regarding the latest research and practices to detect, treat and prevent infections among patients. Nurses interact directly with the patients and are better equipped to identify traces of infections and apply evidence-based procedures to reduce or prevent HAIs. Nurses can adopt a number of strategies to control infection and reduce cross-contamination among patients. These consist of using EPA-registered chemical germicides for standard cleaning and disinfection of medical equipment, training housekeeping staff with cleaning and disinfection procedures, taking precautions to prevent cross-contamination, promoting the use of disposable patient care items, and advising “families, visitors, and patients regarding the importance of hand hygiene to minimize the spread of body substance contamination” (Collins, 2008, p. 10). It is also the responsibilit ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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