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Basic Infection Control. Nursing 125. Infection:. An invasion of pathogens or microorganisms into the body that are capable of producing disease.

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Infection l.jpg

  • An invasion of pathogens or microorganisms into the body that are capable of producing disease.

  • The invasion and reproduction of microorganisms in a body tissue that can result in a local or systemic clinical response such as cellulitis, fever etc.

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Infection Control:

  • Includes all of the practices used to prevent the spread of microorganisms that could cause disease in a person.

  • Infection control practices help to protect clients and healthcare providers from disease by reducing and/or eliminating sources of infection.

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Nosocomial Infections:

  • Result from delivery of health services in a healthcare setting, clients are at increased risk.

  • Unfortunately, nosocomial infections lead to increased healthcare costs, extended hospital stays and prolonged recovery time.

    • Hospital acquired infection

Clients in healthcare settings are at risk for acquiring or developing infections because l.jpg
Clients in healthcare settings are at risk for acquiring or developing infections because:

  • Lower resistance to infectious microorganisms (due to illness or disease).

  • Exposure to an increased number of and more types of disease-causing organisms. (Hospital harbors a high population of virulent strains of microorganisms that are resistant to antibiotics) MRSA, VRE – super bugs.

  • The performance of invasive procedures. (IV cathetars etc.. Anything that crosses protective barriers)

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Nosocomial Infections: developing infections because:

  • Most nosocomial infections are transmitted by health care workers and clients as a result of direct contact.

  • We, as nurses must pay particular attention to washing hands after contact with clients or equipment.

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Personal Pointer: developing infections because:

  • Frequent hand washing dries skin. Skin can breakdown and crack, breaking our skin barrier protection.

    • Use hand moisturizer frequently.

  • Protection of the client is priority, however, we must also protect ourselves – as nurses we are at risk for contact with infectious materials or exposure to a communicable disease.

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    Principles of Basic Infection Control: developing infections because:

    • Microorganisms move through space on air currents – avoid shaking or tossing linen.

    • Microorganisms are transferred from one surface to another whenever objects touch, a clean item touching a less clean item becomes “dirty” – keep hands away from face, keep linens away from uniforms, an item dropped on the floor is considered dirty. (cont.)

    Basic infection control cont l.jpg
    Basic Infection Control (cont.) developing infections because:

    • Microorganisms are transferred by gravity when one item is held above another, avoid passing dirty items over clean items eg. Clean items on upper shelves – dirty items on lower shelves (bedpan).

      4. Microorganisms are released into the air on droplet nuclei whenever a person breathes or speaks – avoid breathing directly in someone’s face; when someone coughs/sneezes, cover mouth with kleenex, discard, wash hands.

    Basic infection control cont10 l.jpg
    Basic Infection Control (cont.) developing infections because:

    • Microorganisms move slowly on dry surfaces, but very quickly through moisture – use paper towel to turn facets off, dry bath basin before returning to bedside table.

      6. Proper handwashing removes many of the microorganisms that would be transferred by the hands from one item to another – always wash hands between patients.

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    Chain of Infection: developing infections because:


    Portal of



    of Entry






    Chain of infection cont l.jpg
    Chain of Infection: (cont.) developing infections because:

    • Infectious agent – microorganisms (bacteria, viruses)

      • Resident – normally reside on the skin in stable numbers

      • Transient – attach loosely to the skin by contact with another – easily removed by handwashing

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    Reservoir: developing infections because:

    • Or source of pathogen. Pathogen survives here but may or may not multiply.

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    Portal of exit: developing infections because:

    • From the reservoir, exit through the skin, respiratory tract, blood. Site where microorganism leaves.

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    Mode of transmission: developing infections because:

    • Means of spread:

      • travel by air

      • contact

      • droplet

    Portal of entry to the host l.jpg
    Portal of Entry: (to the host) developing infections because:

    • Enter the same way they exit (open wound, breathe in)

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    Host susceptibility: developing infections because:

    • Host must be susceptible to the strength and numbers of the microorganisms.

    • To reduce susceptibility – provide adequate nutrition & rest, promote body defenses against infection & provide immunization.

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    Breaking the Chain of Infection developing infections because:

    • Infection Control Practices

    • Table 8.1 in your skills text outlines ways to break the chain of infection in each of the links

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    Superbugs – MRSA & VRE developing infections because:

    • MRSA – methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus

      • common nosocomial infection in hospitals & long term care facilities. This staph aureus is resistant to methicillin

      • MRSA is easily transmitted by health care workers b/c it frequently colonizes on the skin – VERY IMPORTANT TO WASH YOUR HANDS….

    Vre vancomycin resistant enterococcus l.jpg
    VRE – Vancomycin resistant enterococcus developing infections because:

    • Enterococci are normally found in the bowel and female genital tract. They have been shown to persist in the environment for long periods of time (up to 7 days) on hands, gloves, equipment and surfaces such as bed rails, telephones, stethoscopes, etc.

    • Cross-infection has been attributed to thermometers, commodes, movement of inadequately cleaned patient furniture. Transmission occurs directly via the hands of healthcare workers or indirectly from contact with contaminated environmental surfaces and patient-care equipment.

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    Prevention of Transmission: developing infections because:


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    Aseptic Technique: 2 types developing infections because:

    • Medical Asepsis – Clean technique; procedures used to reduce & prevent spread of microorganisms ** Handwashing**

    • Surgical Asepsis – Sterile technique; procedures used to eliminate microorganisms **Sterilization**

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    Handwashing developing infections because:

    • Is the single most important procedure for preventing the transfer of microorganisms & therefore preventing the spread of nosocomial infections.

    • CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends 10-15 second hand wash. This will remove most transient organisms from the skin.

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    Key Points for Personal Hygiene developing infections because:

    • Restrain hair – hair falling forward may drop organisms.

    • Keep nails short – no acrylic nails or chipped nail polish.

    • Minimum jewelry (see agency policy)

    • Cover open wounds with an occlusive dressing

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    When should hands be washed: developing infections because:

    • When visibly soiled.

    • Before and after client contact.

    • After contact with a source of microorganisms (blood, body fluids, mucus membranes, non intact skin or inanimate objects that might be contaminated.

    • Prior to performance of invasive procedures (IV catheters, indwelling catheters).

    • Before and after removing gloves (wearing gloves does not remove the need to wash hands).

    • At the beginning and end of every shift.

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    Nursing Process:( ADPIE) developing infections because:

    • A problem solving approach allowing nurses to organize and deliver care:

      • Approach to problem solving

      • Enables nurses to organize and deliver care

      • An element of critical thinking which allows nurses to make judgments and take action based on reason

      • Provide a blueprint for critical thinking

      • Used to diagnose and treat human responses to health and illness

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    Purpose of the Nursing Process developing infections because:

    • Identify client health care needs

    • Determine priorities

    • Establish goals & expected outcomes of care

    • Establish & communicate a client-centered plan of care

    • Provide nursing interventions to meet client needs

    • Evaluate effectiveness of nursing care

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    Nursing Process and Handwashing developing infections because:

    • See page 193 in skills text

    • The ADPIE of Handwashing

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    Ethics and the Law developing infections because:

    • As professionals, nurses are responsible to protect the rights and interests of clients.

    • There is a great deal of trust placed in health professionals, they are expected to:

      • Be qualified

      • Provide safe & competent care

      • Respect our basic human rights

    Nursing students and legal liability l.jpg
    Nursing Students and Legal Liability developing infections because:

    • Liable if actions cause harm – usually shared by instructor, student, hospital & university

    • Expected to perform as professional nurses – safe client care

    • If employed as aid or LPN do not practice outside of job description

    • Read chapter 8- Legal Implications

    Code of ethics for registered nurses l.jpg
    Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses developing infections because:

    • Reflects moral & ethical standards. Nurses as members of the profession must uphold the standards.

    • Gives guidance for decision-making concerning ethical matters

    • The code supports 7 primary values; Health & well being, choice, dignity, confidentiality, fairness, accountability, practice environments that are conducive to safe, competent and ethical care.

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    Values developing infections because:

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    Values (cont.) developing infections because:

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    Professional Nursing Associations developing infections because:

    • Represent nursing and the best interests of the public.

    • CNA – Canadian Nurses Association – professional association representing 11 provincial & territorial professional nsg associations. (Quebec is not represented)

    • CNA’ mission – to advance the quality of nursing in the interests of the public

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    CRNNS developing infections because:College of Registered Nurses of N.S.

    • Both a professional association and the regulating authority for registered nurses in Nova Scotia

    • CRNNS works with registered nurses and the public to advance, promote & regulate the practice of nursing and to advocate for public policy supportive of good health & health services


    Nursing standards l.jpg
    Nursing Standards developing infections because:

    • Through legislation the nursing profession is granted the authority to set standards for the practice & education of its members with an obligation to protect the public.

    • Describe the desirable & achievable level of performance expected of R.Ns’ in their practice & against which actual performance can be measured.

      • Used to assess the professional conduct of all R.N.s’ in N.S.

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    Nursing Standards (cont.) developing infections because:

    • Accountability & Responsibility

    • Continuing Competence

    • Application of Knowledge

    • Advocacy

    Consumer rights for health care l.jpg
    Consumer Rights for Health Care developing infections because:

    • Refers to both legal and ethical standards that are important to the patients’ well being.

    • Nurses are legally and ethically responsible to ensure that the client receives competent & holistic care.

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    Consumer Rights for Health Care developing infections because:

    • Right to be Informed

    • Right to be respected as the individual with a major responsibility for his/her own health care

    • Right to participate in decision making affecting his/her own health

    • Right to equal access to health care regardless of the individual’s economic status, sex, age, creed, ethnic origin, and location.