Reducing the Risk of Transmission of Methicillin-Resistant
Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in Healthcare Facilities
Infection control is one of the things we as nurses and nursing students have a commitment to take every possible step to ensure. Infection control includes all things that are avoidable and by practicing by the ANA Code of Ethics and QSEN Competencies we can ensure that patients get best possible care they deserve. It is important that all people involved in the care of patients in a health-care facility take all the necessary steps and precautions to avoid spreading germs that can cause infections. It is essential that the policies put in place to control these problems are followed by every member of the collaborative team. According to the QSEN Competencies every person involved in the care of a patient should “Function competently within own scope of practice as a member of the health care team”. (QSEN, 2010) This includes nurses, doctors, social workers, janitorial services and dietary aids, to name a few. Each person working in a health-care facility plays an important particular role in the care of the patients. It is necessary to explore this issue because patient safety is a priority. It is important that everyone abide by the facility policies to decrease risk of transmission of infectious organism to patients, increase awareness to risk of transmission of MRSA and keep the patients and healthcare workers safe. One thing that has been difficult to control in hospitals is the spread of MRSA. MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) is a bacterial infection which is easily spread that can be highly resistant to antibiotics. There are two ways that one could acquire a MRSA infection. Community-associated MRSA infections can occur in healthy people living in the community who have not recently been in the hospital. MRSA is spread through direct contact with the infected person or items used by that person. People in close proximity or who share personal items or athletic equipment are at an increased risk of acquiring a MRSA infection. Another way that MRSA can be spread which is much more prevalent is through a hospital. Healthcare-associated MRSA infections occur in people who have recently been admitted to the hospital or other health-care facility. People who have been hospitalized or had surgery at an increased risk of contracting a MRSA infection. According to Fairclough (2006), “MRSA accounts for one-fifth of hospital acquired infections”(p. 73 ). The incidence of contracting a MRSA infection can be fairly minor to very serious. The prognosis of a patient who acquires a MRSA infection depends solely on the severity of the infection and the person’s overall health. Reducing risk of MRSA transmission can be extremely effective if all members of the collaborative team follow all necessary measures to eradicate MRSA. “Attempts to control the spread of MRSA rely on several factors: detecting and isolating infected or colonized patients, rational antibiotic prescribing, hand hygiene and cleanliness.” (Fairclough, 2006) “Infection control is at the heart of quality clinical care. Clinical governance provides the framework to demonstrate the value of infection control to all healthcare workers.” (Bissett, 2005, p. 386) Of the many steps necessary to reduce the risk of spreading MRSA infections the first step is screening of all patients to be admitted to the facility. This has become controversial as it is costly to test all patients for possible MRSA infections but it is necessary if the goal is to eliminate transmission of MRSA from patient to patient. “Nosacomial transmission of MRSA is so widespread that screening programmes have been implemented to control the spread of MRSA in the hospital environment.” (Banning, 2005, p. 548) If healthcare facilities are able to properly identify the patients whom are infected with MRSA then they will be able to successfully...
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Fairclough, S.J., (2006) Infection control. Why tackling MRSA needs a comprehensive approach. British Journal of Nursing, 15(2), 72-75.
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Romero, D.V., Treston, J., O’Sullivan, A.L., (2006) Hand to hand combat: Preventing MRSA…methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus. Nurse Practitioner. 31(3) 16-18, 21-25.
QSEN. Quality and Safety Education for Nurses. (2010) Retrieved from: http://www.qsen.org/competencies.php
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