Stop by the Health 1st Wellness Wednesday
table between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Oct. 22 in the Children’s Hospital
lobby to take the hand hygiene quiz and learn about hand hygiene.
Cynthia C. Fitzgerald, R.N. III
Care/ Pain Management Clinic
Controlling the spread of germs rests in each of our hands, which
should be washed and sanitized often.
In fact, hand washing with good old soap and water, though surgical
soap is best, is the very best way to prevent infection and stop the
spread of germs.
In recognition of Infection Control Week, Oct. 19-25, we are reminding
everyone that infection control is everyone’s responsibility.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that, each
year, healthcare-associated infections account for an estimated 1.7
million infections and 99,000 associated deaths in U.S. hospitals.
As a health care professional, you can utilize your professional
knowledge, skill and judgment to assess potential routes of
transmission, assess risk, and apply guidelines to educate others about
infection control. The 2009 National Patient Safety Goals (NPSG) and
Elements of Performance (EP) include a focus on infection control. Goal
13 focuses on encouraging patients’ active involvement in their own
care as a patient safety strategy. Added to this goal are new Elements
of Performance concerning educating the patient about hand hygiene
practices, respiratory hygiene practices, and contact precautions.
Also, surgical patients should be educated about the methods the
facility employs to prevent adverse events during surgery, including
the prevention of surgical infections.
In general, evidence supports the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizing
gels to promote hand hygiene. (Soap and water is more effective in
killing some germs commonly found in clinical settings.)
Properly using and applying the gel is important, and should address
the areas of the fingertips, fingernails and commonly missed areas like
the thumb and inter-digital spaces of the hand (where high counts of
microorganisms are often found).
Recommended steps for hand gel use are:
Put gel in the palm of one hand
Dip the fingertips of the opposite hand into the pools before spreading
Repeat with the other hand and fingertips
For education to be effective, nursing advocates must play a key role.
Strategies to effect change need to integrate current infection control
knowledge with practice and be addressed at every level.
Health 1st events
- Worksite Screenings-Subscribers of the State Health Plan,
BlueChoice/Companion, Cigna, and MUSC Options can receive a preventive
health screening on campus. The screening includes height, weight,
blood pressure, and blood will be drawn for a blood chemistry profile,
hemogram, and blood lipid profile. In most health care settings this
screening is valued at $200 but will be available to MUSC employees for
$15. Screenings are offered monthly, and the next one will be Oct. 23
at the Education Center/Library Building.
For new classes, screenings and information, visit http://www.musc.edu/medcenter/health1st;
or to suggest classes to offer e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To register
for the classes/screenings, call Beka Hardin at 792-9959.
- La Leche League—This is a nonprofit, volunteer
mother-to-mother support organization that provides support, education,
information, and encouragement for breastfeeding moms and expecting
moms. La Leche League classes are held on campus every fourth Wednesday
of the month. The next class will be held Oct. 22 in Room 501,
Friday, Oct. 17, 2008