Infection prevention and control is an essential clinical application of microbiology which

Infection prevention and control is an essential clinical application of microbiology which studies microorganisms within practice (Royal College of Nursing, RCN 2010) which is required so that strategies can be implemented to decrease the risk of infection to patients as well as healthcare professionals and anyone in the environment where care is delivered (Endicott et al. 2009).Nurses work under strict work ethics and scope which are determined collectively by the healthcare providers (D’Alessandro et al. 2014). Nurses are required to fulfil their duty of candour as they deal with delicate matters relating to the life of individuals as well as their own. Nurses are required to take a lot of precaution due to the majority of patients are unable to care for themselves and rely on the nurses and other medical practitioners to provide a holistic approach of care, making them vulnerable to infections. Healthcare, therefore, requires the preservation and enhancement of the sanitary conditions for treatment, diagnosis as well as prevention of injuries, illness, in addition to their environment (Bellini et al. 2015). Moreover, healthcare is delivered by health professionals who work collaboratively to prevent and control infection. Additionally, involving the process of issuing primary health, secondary and tertiary health care and public health (Fashafsheh et al. 2015). Infection control is a fundamental aspect of a nurses to ensure the delivery of safe patient care to reduce risks, this is achieved by nurses being compliant with the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and Care Quality Commission (CQC) registration. Healthcare providers all share the same objective to reduce infection as it is a worldwide problem that needs to be tackled and is best done collectively to frequently assess the effectiveness of programmes and update their findings if other methods are more effective. Within the healthcare sector, there is interprofessional working to ensure that the patient receives the highest standard of care, whilst also working to achieve effective infection control and prevention. Microbiology is the study of micro-organisms which need to be examine under a microscope as these miniscule organisms cannot be seen by the naked eye, this advanced science is beneficial as it helps to better understand how infection may be controlled and prevented. Microbiology is essential for improvements within the healthcare sector, as microbes are everywhere, they are able to survive in most environments (J. Wilson et al. 2006). The NMC guidance is essential for the delivery of fundamental care, therefore all healthcare providers are expected to adhere to confidentiality guidelines and ethical policy. The NICE quality standards NICE quality standards are a concise set of prioritized statements designed to drive measurable quality improvements within a particular area of health or care. They are derived from high-quality guidance, such as that from NICE or other sources accredited by NICE. Healthcare environments are constantly battling against outbreaks of infection with implementing effective control measures which the infection control teams have implemented in guidelines from policy and procedures, in many cases time of outbreaks cannot be determined but effective control measures can prevent the spread of infection to other areas. There is a wide variety of legislation on infection prevention and control. The main components are contained within the Health & Safety at Work Act and Regulations and are based on the assessment of risk to patients, healthcare staff and the public. This underpins every aspect of this guidance.The chain of infection consists of six stages, they are causative agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host. The causative agent is a pathogen, such as a bacterium or a virus that can cause disease. Causative agent can be broken down by early recognition of signs of infection and rapid, accurate identification of organisms. The reservoir is an area where the causative agent can live. The reservoir can be broken down by medical asepsis, standard precautions, employee health, environmental sanitation, and disinfection/sterilization. Portal of exit is a way for the causative agent to escape from the reservoir in which it has been growing. It can be broken down by medical asepsis, personal protective equipment, handwashing, control of excretions and secretions, trash and waste disposal, and standard precautions.Mode of transmission is a way that the causative agent can be transmitted to another reservoir or host where it can live. The pathogen can be transmitted by direct or indirect contact when the pathogen is transmitted most commonly through the air. Mode of transmission can be broken down by transmission-based precautions, food handling, air flow control, medical asepsis, sterilization, handwashing, and standard precautions. Portal of entry is a way for the causative agent to enter a new reservoir or host. Pathogens can enter the is through breaks in the skins, breaks in the mucous membrane, the respiratory tract and the circulatory system. There are many steps a nurse can take to facilitate breaking the chain of infection (Baldwin, 2008) such as personal protective equipment (PPE), disposal of hazardous waste and be aware of the importance of clean and safe environments. For effective infection prevention and control, all healthcare environments must ensure that their waste management systems are sustainable to ensure the all the hazardous wastes are disposed of effectively (Medeiros et al. 2015). On the other hand, the managers have to ensure that all the required equipment and safety measures are provided. For instance, gloves, aprons, surgical masks, eye goggles, and respirator masks should be providing to the healthcare workers in the right quantity so that they can use them without limitation (Teshager, Engeda & Worku 2015).All healthcare providers should be up to date and well equipped with the required equipment to decrease the risk of infection. For instance, a hospital should have the right bed capacity and avoid the contact that may occur amongst patients or when a single apparatus has to be used on two patients yet it can be disposed and a new one used. Most important, the healthcare professionals must be trained regularly in the importance of safety measures to prevent infection. To achieve maximum control and prevention of infection in the health sector, a cross-cutting, inclusive and integrated approach is significant since it is a concept that impacts directly on both the patients and the healthcare professionals (Johnson et al. 2016). Additionally, inclusivity creates a sense of responsibility and acceptance that is of high relevance in the move towards a more user-friendly system. To achieve this, it is the responsibility of each nurse and healthcare professionals to put into practice the existing risk management frameworks and put them into consideration in their line of duty. The first priority of the nurse is the patient, to ensure that all care needs are met by treating people as individuals and respect their dignity (NMC 2009), an aspect of that is hygiene and ensuring that the patient and environment is sanitary which is an important fundamental role of the nurse, and the protection of the skin and ensuring the patients skin is left clean and dry. These precautions are necessary to ensure that the skin isn’t damaged and that no fluid can absorb into the skin which can lead to infection.Appropriate handling of infected items is the key to minimize the risk of transmission and cross-contamination within the clinical area, this can be achieved by the removal of gloves and aprons after use should be exposed of in the nearest clinical waste bin and soiled linen placed in a red linen bag. Contamination of the environment is a necessary duty of the nurse and the relevant domestic staff was informed of the area of risk, NHS Infection control precautions policy states, that spillages of faeces and/or vomit must be cleaned up immediately using detergent and water. Unclean hands have been shown to be a significant vehicle for the transmission of microorganisms and contribute to outbreaks of infection in healthcare environments (Pratt et al 2007).Regular and effective hand hygiene is the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others from infection. Hand washing is regarded as the most important measure among the various protective measures applied against infection. It is necessary to implement this practice without fail to protect both patients and healthcare providers. In any healthcare setting, it is recommended that the hands be washed before and after examining a patient whenever possible. After washing, the hands should be wiped completely dry with a paper towel, which is then discarded hygienically.

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