If a loved one is sick, you want to be there for them all you can. When surrounding yourself with people who are ill, you want to make sure that you do not spread any infection to them and vice versa. With the rise of hospital-acquired infections, it is essential that the general public know how to keep themselves safe and patients safe when visiting, to minimize the spread of any more infections. Here is how you can prevent the spread of infection when visiting the hospital.
Don’t Visit If You’re Sick
Although it may seem like a silly idea to not visit a hospital when you are sick, unless you need to go there to be treated yourself, you are only introducing your germs to others. When someone is ill, their immune system is not strong enough to fight off other bugs as easily, meaning they are more susceptible to becoming ill. If you have a cough, cold, or sickness bug, it is essential that you do not go to visit, unless you want to pass this on to your loved one and possibly to members of staff or other patients. All it takes is for you to sneeze in a busy corridor and you have already begun to spread this infection further.
Wash Your Hands
The many hand gel dispensers located around the hospitals are there for a reason, so make use of them. You should always use alcohol hand gel to clean your hands before and after you go into the hospital. You should also repeat this when entering a new ward, and again before entering a room. This aims to prevent the spread of infection from anything else you may have come into contact with on the way. If your hands are visibly dirty, you must wash them with soap and water. You should also wash your hands after sneezing or coughing, as well as when visiting the bathroom.
Follow Instructions from The Healthcare Team
It may be that your loved one is recovering from surgery, and this means that the site of their surgery cannot be messed with. Sometimes it may be that you cannot hug or kiss your loved one due to a wound site being compromised. If the healthcare team ask you not to do something, they are doing this for the sake of your loved one’s health and any rules regarding hygiene should be adhered to. Often, parents of premature babies find this the hardest, as they are unable to touch their babies whilst they are in the incubators. This is all part of keeping the child safe and assists in preventing hospital-acquired infections (HAI). Healthcare facilities should be serious about preventing HAI and do so by performing sterile procedures and only carrying out invasive procedures where absolutely necessary.
As a member of the public, you can help prevent the spread of infection when visiting a hospital by following the simple steps above.