Due to the increased rates of infections that are acquired in hospitals, there have been attempts to fight to them in the United States hospitals. These infections are responsible for more than 90, 000 deaths that occur annually.
One of the methods that have been tried to fight the infections is the use of Patient Hand Hygiene Protocol (PHHP) to reduce hospital-acquired infections (HCIs) and improve nurses’ hand washing compliance.
This presentation covers the facts about the use of PHHP to reduce HCIs as well as improving hand-washing compliance by nurses in hospitals. It also covers the recommendations to hospitals and nurses on hand hygiene protocol.
Facts Obtained from the Article
Proper implementation of PHHP in hospitals can reduce infection rates and improve nurses’ hand washing compliance. It can be used to prevent the deaths that are brought about by the infections. For proper usage, PHHP should be applied three times in a day between equal intervals.
The nurses should be trained and educated thoroughly so that the protocol yields maximum effectiveness. A lot of precautions should be taken when using chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG) as a PHHP method to avoid harming the patients. Patients’ hands should be inspected severally to ensure they are free from wounds, blisters, or cracks.
Nurses should also identify the patients who are allergic to CHG and exclude them from the protocol. They should also educate the patients the effects of the CHG on the mucous membrane such the eyes; it causes redness and irritation (Fox, et. Al, 2015).
Nurses have a responsibility for encouraging the patients as well as their families to ask questions. They should provide answers to all the questions politely and to the best of their knowledge. In case the patients’ need writing materials to write down questions, nurses should be willing to provide for them.
Nurses are also obliged to communicate the next steps of treatment, for example, surgery, to the patients and families (AHRQ, 2017). Isolation is also used to control hospital infections. In diseases such as Neutropenia, diarrhea, and skin rashes, isolation is the best measure that can be used to prevent the diseases from spreading among patients (Abhinav, et al., 2017).
Nurses should wear protective gloves to avoid infecting patients with germs in their hands. They should also avoid wearing long sleeves or ties while handling patients. Adequate eye protection or face masks should be worn in procedures that are likely to generate body fluid splashes to prevent the mucous membrane from contamination.
Antimicrobial soap and water can be used to wash patients who are allergic to CHG. Alcohol-based hand rubs can also be used as a substitute. Nurses are also advised not to wear hand jewelry such as watch and bracelets during surgery (Abhinav, et al., 2017).
Recommendation for Practice
Hospitals should adopt the use of hand hygiene protocols to reduce the spread of infections in hospitals and the deaths that are associated with them. The hospital management should ensure that the nurses use the protocol on the patients three times a day.
Nurses should be trained and educated on the importance of using the PHHP in reducing HCIs in hospitals. Nurses should observe universal precaution when attending patients. They should wear protective equipment when coming into contact with some body fluids such as blood and amniotic fluid.
They should wear protective gown to prevent them from getting soiled during procedures that are likely to cause blood or body splashes. The soiled gown should be removed immediately and with a lot of care to avoid contamination. They should also be made aware of the proper application of hand hygiene protocol to ensure it is effective.
The risks associated with the protocol, for example, using CHG on an open wound, should also be brought to their attention. The patients should also be sensitized on precautions to observe when under the protocol medication, for example, they should not touch their eyes when their hands are wet of CHG to avoid irritation.
The patients whose hands have wounds should also be advised not get in touch with CHG protocol. Catheter dressing should be replaced immediately when they get damp or loosen. Patients should not be afraid to ask nurses to wash their hands before attending to them.
They should obey the instructions they are given by nurses and ask questions for clarification (Preventing Infections in the Hospital, 2017). The family members and friends who visit the patients should observe hand hygiene to avoid spreading of HCIs.
The study on the use of hand hygiene has paved the way for preventing the deaths that occur annually as a result of infections that are acquired in hospitals. The government should ensure that hospitals employ the use of PHHP in fighting the spread of infections in hospitals.
Nurses should adopt safety-minded attitude to control the rate of spreading of infections in hospitals. Nurses should use they knowledge, skills, and judgments to prevent HCIs in hospitals.