Over the past 500 years there have been many theories tested to avoid the spread of infection, which include the basic methods of hand hygiene, practicing safe sex and correct food preparation. The oxford medical dictionary states an ‘infection’ is the invasion of the body by harmful pathogens (organisms) - these organisms take over the body which can result in an individual suffering from mild to serious infections . It is a common mis-conception among society that hospitals are the source of all infection; infection control is an essential component of care and should be focused on by not only the health care system but also the community and individuals. Through researching these practices, you will find there are many ways to avoid the spread of infection and their consequences.
The spread of infection can be prevented with the help of correct personal hand hygiene. Millions of micro-organisms in-habit all living creatures, especially humans, as we are exposed to many different forms of bacteria through everything we touch – although, only some of these micro-organisms are capable of causing harm. Hall (2009) states that hand washing is the key factor to avoiding the spread of pathogens infecting our bodies. These pathogens can live on our skin, under our fingernails, be transferred from a handshake and practically everything we come in contact with. In a health-care setting and given that people shed more than one million skin cells every day, both them and their immediate environment are potential sources for the transmission of healthcare associated infections, (Motacki, Toros & O’Mara, 2011) hence why it is so important to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water or with waterless alcohol hand sanitisers several times throughout the day. Every individual, from a young age, has been taught the method of how to wash your hands, so it