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

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

Introduction Nurses play a pivotal role in the prevention of healthcare associated infections especially in a clinical setting. As such, this paper has been designed to critically analyse the roles played by the nurses in preventing infections in the healthcare system. The paper starts by explaining some of the healthcare infections that are common in healthcare systems. The main body of the paper will discuss the roles played by the nurses in preventing these healthcare related infections. The main points discussed will be summarised at the end of the paper. Main body There are various healthcare associated infections (HAIs) that patients get while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions. According to HealthyPeople (2013), some of the common infections include the following: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, bloodstream infections and pneumonia. These are regarded as leading causes of preventable deaths in the United States and other countries and they significantly contribute to an increase in healthcare costs every year. Healthcare associated infections can be found in different clinical settings such as acute care and same day hospitals among others. HAIs are mainly caused by repeatedly using medical devices like catheters and ventilators as well as the actual layout of the healthcare facility. For instance, patient beds may be close to each other and this can cause patient to patient or patient to nurse transmission of communicable

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diseases such as flu. As a result of their negative impact on the healthcare of different people who may be affected, they should be eliminated from the healthcare system and the nurses have a great role to play in carrying out this initiative. Some studies have shown that quality education and training of nurses among other health care workers play a pivotal role in preventing the HAIs in hospitals. For instance, careful use of antibiotics is effective in preventing HAIs since the risk is very high among patients if they are not properly administered. Nurses should be knowledgeable when they administer these drugs among the patients in different healthcare settings. According to Collins (n.d.), nurses also have role to “monitor and assure compliance with aseptic work practices such as providing knowledgeable collaborative oversight on environmental decontamination.” Nurses should properly sterilise all the equipment used in hospitals using a proper disinfectant such as jick which kills viruses and germs. Nurses should also avoid reusing syringes in the hospital since these are likely to cause HAIs. Another best practice that can be implemented by the nurses in preventing HAIs is to wash their hands with soap or other disinfectant after they have attended to a certain patient. This will help to avoid the transmission of germs from one patient to the other. Nurses can also use gloves when they are attending to the patients so that they avoid contracting diseases from the patients. These gloves should be safely disposed after they have attended to the patient. The other important role that can be played by the nurses is to ensure that the environment surrounding the patient is clean so that the viruses and germs are not transmitted to other patients of people within the healthcare setting. Public Health England (2013) posits to the effect that infection

Summary

Abstract The paper has been designed to discuss the causes, impacts of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) as well as the role of the nurses in preventing these. Some of the common infections include: Catheter-associated urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, bloodstream infections and pneumonia (HealthyPeople, 2013)…
Author : jaymoen
The Nurses Role in the Prevention of Healthcare-associated Infections essay example
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