Infections can occur after many types of medical procedures. This is particularly true if you have had surgery or have a suppressed immune system. In addition, certain types of medical devices (IVs, catheters, drain tubes, etc.) used during hospitalization may be associated with any increase risk of infection.
Flowers Hospital uses standard precautions for the care of all patients because it is not always possible to determine who is infected. Standard Precaution practices help stop the transmission of most germs. Precautions based on the way the germs may be transmitted are called Transmission-Based Precautions. These precautions are sometimes needed to provide extra protection when patients have certain contagious illnesses. When Transmission-Based Precautions are required, signs are posted outside the patient’s room door. These signs give specific instructions on the protective items needed to wear to enter the room and care for or visit the patient. Visitors of patients with Transmission-Based Precautions should report to the Nurses Station for further instructions prior to entering the room.
There are several things YOU can do to help protect yourself from infections while you are in the hospital. These include:
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions about your care so that you may fully understand your treatment plan and expected outcomes. You and your family/friends will be able to better facilitate your recovery.
- Practice good hand hygiene. Practicing good hand hygiene is known to help decrease the risk of spreading infection-causing germs through person-to-person contact. You and your visitors should wash your hands with soap and warm water when they are visibly dirty and always after using the bathroom. You or your visitors may also use the hand foam (antiseptic) from the dispenser on the wall next to your room door. We suggest visitors use the foam as they enter and exit the patient’s room.
Your healthcare workers should wash their hands or use the waterless hand foam
before and after caring for you. The hand foam is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for use between patients. The hand foam is very effective for decontaminating hands as long as they are not visibly dirty. The hand foam also works to provide a barrier over the hands to continue to kill germs and to decrease the risk of spreading germs.
Do not hesitate to remind physicians, nurses and other healthcare workers to wash or use antiseptic hand foam on their hands before caring for you.
- If you have an intravenous catheter or wound with a dressing, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Tell your nurse promptly if the dressing works lose or gets wet.
- If you have any type of catheter or drainage tube, let your nurse know promptly if it works loose or becomes dislodged.
- Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions regarding breathing treatments and getting out of bed. We encourage you to ask for help, advice or adequate pain medications.
Infection Control Regulations
- Practice good hand hygiene (wash hands or use hand foam as you enter and exit the patient’s room).
- Do not visit if you have cold or flu symptoms such as fever, a cough, or a runny nose. A phone call to the patient may be more beneficial for both of you at this time.
- Do not send or bring live plants into the Intensive Care Units or to your room if you are a patient receiving Chemotherapy. Plants may harbor germs we cannot see.
Proper Hand Washing Techniques
To ensure you clean your hands effectively, follow the recommendations listed below:
- Use soap and water to lather your hands and scrub for a minimum of 15 to 20 seconds.
- When washing hands, use lots of friction when scrubbing
- Rinse hands thoroughly.
- Dry with a paper towel and then use a dry paper towel to turn off the faucet, if applicable.