In this week’s edition of the Heartbeat Blog, we will be exploring another of our continuing education titles, Infection Control Guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities. Hospital acquired infections continue to be a major contributor to the mortality and morbidity of our patients, yet they are largely preventable!

Of course, if you’d like to learn more and earn some continuing education units in the process, be sure to give us a call at 510-452-1100.  Courses are currently being offered in both our Oakland and Sacramento locations.  CNA courses are approved by the California Department of Public Health (NAC approved CE # 1187).

Did you know that as many as 3 million serious infections occur in long term care facilities every year? Many more go unreported. 10% of these (~380,000) will be fatal. Residents of long term care facilities are at a much higher risk for contracting these infections. This is due to a number of risk factors, including advanced age and having multiple co-morbidities, which is a fancy way of saying they often have a lot of medical issues and an impaired health state.

There is good news of course. Groups like the World Health Organization have put out sensible guidelines that can all but eliminate these types of infections if followed. This series of  blogs will take at look at recommendations for infection surveillance, hand hygiene, isolation precautions and personal protective equipment.

Good Hygiene Tops Infection Control Guidelines

Hand hygiene is the most obvious of all of the recommendations. We use our hands for EVERYTHING. They are the number one means of moving a nasty bug from one surface to another or from one patient to another. Washing our hands with simple soap and water for >10 seconds (you can sing happy birthday to yourself or your patients while doing so) has been tried and true ever since Florence Nightingale and the war of Crimea.

Now though, alcohol based hand sanitizers have been shown to be more effective at stopping the spread of disease and killing germs on our hands. They kill germs quickly and are more effective in the hard to reach places like our nail beds and in between our fingers.

Infectious Pop Quiz!

If you walked into your patient’s room with a tray of food and were planning on helping them eat breakfast, what is the minimum amount of times you would gel your hands before going to the next patient’s room?

Answer: 3—once before entering, once before feeding the patient and once upon leaving the room. I know this sounds like a lot but actually, if you plan on doing anything else in the room like making the bed or helping the patient move around the room, the number would be higher.

For more information on Infection Control Guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities or if you are interested in seeing all of our course offerings please visit our CNA courses or give one of us a call at 510-452-1100 x 0 and we can sign you up today. Remember as well that all SEIU CNAs can take any of our continuing education units for free through the amazing SEIU Education Fund.