Within the essay I am going to discuss whether good hand hygiene practices are the single most important factor in preventing cross infection. Some may argue for this statement others against. Jeanes A (2005) refers to the NMC code of professional conduct (2004) who state that you must act to identify and minimise risk to patients and clients.
Hand hygiene is everybody’s job, including the patients. Linda Pearson (2006) refers to AL Damouk et al (2004) who suggests that inviting patients to become partners in their care maybe an appropriate response to reports of the rising incidence of healthcare associated infections and difficulties with ensuring healthcare staff was their hands effectively and at appropriate times. From previous work on the ward, implications were in place whereby patients were encouraged to wash their hands before and after meal times , after elimination or at any point they felt their cleanliness was been jeopardised. Matron carried out weekly audits and noted how many individuals successfully used the hand gel and soap provided at the appropriate times. However some individuals failed to follow protocol. Gould D (1994) suggested that when it is performed it is not always at the most appropriate times and the technique used does not always result in effective cleansing of all hand surfaces.
Hospital acquired infections can be a result of bad hand hygiene. Methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is one of the hospital infections that can be picked up from the hospital environment, mainly because patients’ defence systems are low. Platt AT (2001) states that MRSA is becoming more prevalent, especially in intensive care environments. Transmission can be prevented by all patients and healthcare workers following the same infection control procedures. Present on my ward was the regime of asking every person on entering and leaving the ward