Home Living Healthy workplace hazards Infection control and caregivers

Infection control and caregivers

Advertisements

Infection control is a very serious concern in any health care setting. There can be different infections happen while receiving healthcare services and the number of such incidences is not very low. It is possible to prevent such infections and preventing them is a top priority in any health care setting.

Whether it is a hospital, nursing home or even your home, infection control is very important. Caregivers is a very important element of the whole process. According to World Health Organization, infection control aims to ensure the protection of those who might be vulnerable to acquiring an infection both in the general community and while receiving care due to health problems, in a range of settings.

The home care setting

In the home care setting the biggest issue in infection control is preventing caregivers from catching an infection from the patient and also protecting the patient from an infection a caregiver may have. If patients have any illness that can compromise their immune systems they are at risk of infection.

When the home becomes the most common setting for healthcare, many family members may need to provide medical care and most of them are now fully trained for doing that. Very few family caregivers actually receive adequate training in caregiving including wound care, medication management or operating medical equipment. Many of them learn it on their own or learn from a friend or other family member but did do not receive training from healthcare providers. In such a setting infection can be very common because they do not know what to do and they do not have the necessary training to do it in the right way. It is a very dangerous situation for family caregivers. In some cases the infection rates range from 5% to 80% of patients in home health settings.

Most common infections

The most common infections are respiratory and GI infections. Respiratory infections include pneumonia, cold, the flu and bronchitis. Such infections can be limited by doing a few simple things such as covering coughs and sneezes with the inside of an elbow rather than a hand, hand washing and more and more hand washing, not sharing towels in the bathroom and not sharing utensils at mealtime.

Gastrointestinal infections or GI infections include foodborne illnesses like Salmonella, E. coli and hepatitis. It is possible to avoid all of them with a few simple precautions like careful food preparation, proper food storage, and a cleaner environment and sanitise surfaces.

Following some rules

There are some rules and if you follow them, it is possible to eliminate any type of infection for the patient or the caregiver.

If you're working with a patient, it is important to keep your clothes at an arm's length to avoid getting infectious matter on your own clothing. You can simply put on an old, large short overview clothes which you can take of easily and put in washer.

References

1. Effective Infection Control Training For Your Caregivers
2. Infection Control
3. Infection Control