Asepsis and Infection Control and Prevention

Introduction

Patient X is an eighteen-year-old female client with a diagnosis of pneumonia. She was admitted with a chief complaint of difficulty in breathing. Other problems raised by the patient are chest pains, acute headache, high temperatures, productive cough, and feeling tired. On examination, lung crackles were heard at the base of the lung during auscultation. The axillary temperature was 38.5 degrees Celsius, and the respiratory rate was at 30 breaths per minute with an evident clubbing of the fingernails (Hinkle & Cheever, 2018). This is her second day in the acute wing of the medical ward. This unit is located closer to the nurse’s station to monitor the patients with a deteriorating condition. The patient is allergic to sulfur-based drugs, has a history of epilepsy and blood transfusion.

Patient Care

The client is currently receiving intensive management for the promotion of adequate tissue perfusion and pain relief. She is now on oxygen therapy, receiving three litters via rebreathing face mask, intravenous ceftriaxone one gram once a day for seven days, and one gram of paracetamol every six hours for three days. Suctioning secretions are also done after every hour using nebulization with albuterol every six hours to dilate the bronchus. The patient is also put on intravenous normal saline 500 milliliters every four hours. A blood sample has been taken for grouping and cross-matching, urine electrolytes and creatinine levels check-ups, and liver function tests (Metlay et al., 2019). A chest x-ray imaging test performed on the patient shows lobar consolidation and airspace opacities.

Nursing Care

The nurses caring for Patient X are practicing several strategies to promote infection control and prevention. Firstly, the aseptic technique is used during the care of the patient. These techniques include wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, gowns, eyewear, and masks when handling the patient. The utilization of single-use disposable gloves effectively reduces the contamination of a nurse practitioner from the fluids from the patient. Surgical masks, gowns, and eyewear, including goggles, are worn to protect the healthcare practitioner in cases where there is a possibility of splashing the body fluids. Maintaining adequate cleanliness of the reusable PPEs is also crucial in ensuring infection prevention (Metlay et al., 2019). Proper utilization of this equipment is required to stop the spread of infections in hospitals.

Secondly, practicing effective cleanliness of the environment is essential in eliminating infectious agents. Surfaces where patients often come into contact should be continuously disinfected using chemical-based detergents. Additionally, chemical solutions should be utilized in cleaning the patient’s body fluids on the floor. Other infection control techniques include isolating the severely ill patients with highly infectious diseases from Patient X. Isolation of patients in enclosed rooms away from other patients effectively reduces the spread of the infections during the early stages of its infectivity (Hinkle & Cheever, 2018). Therefore, proper environmental sanitation and infectious patients’ isolation are practical nursing mechanisms to curb patient X infections.

Literature Analysis

Effective infection prevention and control strategies have numerous advantages to patient care and the organization’s success. Proper handwashing using the world health organization’s ten-step guidelines is proved to promote infection control and prevention of the hospitalized patients. These guidelines state that soap and water should be applied at all times for the adequate elimination of infectious agents. The use of alcohol-based solutions for cleaning the hands is also advocated. However, these solutions may be ineffective when the hands are visibly soiled, necessitating soap and water use. The literature review found that nurses inadequately implement hand washing before and after handling the patient in hospitals (Metlay et al., 2019). Effective hand washing is one aspect of the standard infection prevention in hospitals.

The literature review identified several inconsistencies in the maintenance of infection prevention and asepsis in numerous hospital settings. One of such places is in the promotion of asepsis during urinary catheterization. Healthcare personnel failed to utilize the available guidelines when inserting a catheter. An analysis of hospitals’ acute settings in the United States found that only a handful of them had protocols aligned to the standard regulations on infection prevention by world health organizations (Metlay et al., 2019). Furthermore, it was observed that there was a high prevalence of unnecessary urinary catheterization in most settings (Hinkle & Cheever, 2018).

This review made suggestions on utilizing reminders and studies to improve the adherence to the standard procedures for infection prevention and control. Commitment to the evidence-based guidelines is imperative in lowering infection rates at the hospitals.

Reflection

I learned about the importance of ensuring asepsis in preventing the spread of bacterial pneumonia in the hospital due to its negative health implications. I am now aware of the importance of including frequent washing of hands, donning gloves when attending to patients, and isolation of patients with infectious illnesses. This knowledge of asepsis will positively influence my future practice as a nurse. I will be more conscious about infection prevention and control in hospitalized patients. I can apply the new skills of handwashing and donning gloves and masks in my day-to-day activities. This experience made me realize the advantages of using the concepts learned in class in promoting effective patient management.

Conclusion

Infection prevention and control is an essential component of promoting positive outcomes of the patient’s health conditions. Hospital-acquired diseases have profound adverse effects on the health of clients. The healthcare personnel is instrumental in fostering effective infection control techniques, including handwashing, donning PPEs, and isolating infectious patients. These strategies of infection prevention are valuable for managing antimicrobial resistance in hospitals. Therefore, all the healthcare personnel involved in patient care must adhere to the standard guidelines to uphold proper infection prevention and control in the hospitals.

References

Hinkle, J. L., & Cheever, K. H. (2018). Brunner and Suddarth’s textbook of medical-surgical nursing. Wolters Kluwer.

Metlay, J. P., Waterer, G. W., Long, A. C., Anzueto, A., Brozek, J., Crothers, K., Cooley, L. A., Dean, N. C., Fine, M. J., Flanders, S. A., Griffin, M. R., Metersky, M. L., Musher, D. M., Restrepo, M. I., & Whitney, C. G. (2019). Diagnosis and treatment of adults with community-acquired pneumonia. An official clinical practice guideline of the American thoracic society and infectious diseases society of America. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 200(7), e45–e67. Web.

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