The quality of health and safety of the environment is greatly affected by the environment itself, never more so than in the health care setting, where patients and clients may be more vulnerable than in there own homes. Florence Nightangale suggested that patients in health care settings may be harmed just by being there. Health and Safety commission (1992) places a general duty on employers to ensure the health and safety of employees.
Role of the nurse to prevent the spread of infection. Some which can not be treated by antibiotics. (MRSA: methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.) Reasons related to the overuse of antibiotics have contributed to this problem. Infection is caused when the body is invaded by pathogenic (disease producing) organism, either bacteria or virus. Usually accompanied by pyrexia, sweating and sometimes causes a rigor. Some bacteria live on the body, and are not harmful (commensals) unless they gain entry, made easier if suffering from disease or following and accident or operation. The most common hospital-acquired infections are urinary tract (mostly in catheterised patients), the lower respiratory tract, the skin and wounds. Whatever the setting, everyone who works in health care establishments is responsible for maintaining a safe environment.'(Parker 1999). One of the simplest, and probably the single most important contribution to the prevention of cross infection, is hand washing, which nurses and staff are taught is a matter of priority and yet is sometimes rushed and neglected altogether.
Disposable gloves and aprons:
Can do more harm than good if not disposed of correctly. Different colours should be used for different tasks. Used when: In direct contact with patients.
Contact with bodily fluids
Handling bed linen, excreta or clinical waste
Handling items that have been in contact with I infectious disease including clothes and books.