It is of the utmost importance to practice and to ensure that impeccable hygiene standards are always adhered to within a clinical setting. This is for many reasons and specifically with regards to infection control. Obviously, when a patient is in a hospital there is something wrong with their health and this will mean that their immune system is compromised. It is, for this reason, that excellent cleanliness and hygiene must be observed as any bugs, bacteria, and / or viruses can potentially have a very bad effect on the health of patients, staff and visitors alike.
There are government guidelines in force with regards to effective clinical hygiene and infection control. These are called the Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICP). These guidelines exist to prevent cross contamination within the clinical setting. They cover all aspects of a ward or clinical environment, from surfaces, linens, floors and beds down to surgical equipment.
There has been a great deal of press in recent years which relates to the “superbug” MRSA. Many of these stories have been linked to hospital and clinical environments and some very worrying cases. Interestingly MRSA which stands for methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus is not a brand new phenomenon; in fact it was discovered in the 1960s.
In addition to this there have been new strains of MRSA rearing their heads over the years due to the fact that the bacteria has mutated and has therefore become resistant to the antibiotics which once treated it. This is another problem altogether – the overuse of antibiotics allowing viruses and bugs to adapt and to become resistant.
Arguably the most unsettling aspect of hospital acquired MRSA is that it can spread rapidly and actually destroy human skin. This is why the bacterial infection is commonly called the “flesh eating bug” due to the fact that it can rapidly spread upon and in some cases destroy human skin.
So you see why it is so very important that all clinical areas are kept as hygienic and as spotlessly clean as humanly possible. Through identifying areas which are “hotspots” for the spread of disease and through taking adequate steps such as infection control and efficient hand washing, you can go a long way to establishing a clean and safe environment. The use of hand sanitising stations has to be enforced for all professionals and visitors alike and ward rules such as not allowing visitors to sit on beds must always be enforced. If anyone within the clinical setting becomes lax on rules then this opens the whole area up to potential contamination.
These standards must also be adhered to in patient’s homes which can also be considered a clinical setting if an individual is being given home care. All bandages, sharps and disposable equipment must be disposed of in the correct way too. Through following these important rules any clinical setting can be kept in a perfect state and the personal health of all patients’ visitors and professionals will remain uncompromised by any negative external factors relating to lack of cleanliness and the proliferation of germs.