Why Consumer Education on Infection Control is Important?

9.10.14  

Written by: Selective Micro Technologies 

nurse-stopping-infectionInfection control, in the United States, is highly regulated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each state’s individual health departments, and the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). CDC offers a variety of guidelines in order to help prevent infection and spread of contamination in healthcare settings, individuals, and their families.

Wash Your Hands

The simplest method proposed for preventing the spread of infection is good hand hygiene. Good hand washing techniques haven’t been around as long as people may think, but are now more prevalent due to increased awareness, such as that provided by CDC, and increased technology such as motion dispensing hand wash stations. As recently as the mid to late 90’s, nurses in hospitals were not commonly using gloves when they cleaned and bathed patients. Now with advancements in regulation and infection control protocols, it is much easier for healthcare facilities to maintain order if an infection is running rampant. Using decontamination in congruence with education, infection control can be properly managed.

Infection Control and Decontamination

Upon further consideration of infection control and decontamination, Florence Nightingale hit the nail on the head when she wrote, “Very few people, be they of what class they may, have any idea of the exquisite cleanliness required in a sick room.” She was far above her time when she was working as a nurse back in 1800’s England. She is recognized as the founder of modern nursing, and she changed the way medicine was practiced. She worked to improve medical practices by making them more sanitary, thus saving hundreds of lives in the process. The number of lives saved which are attributable to her advocacy and practice, are innumerable. Her primary goal was decontamination with nothing more than soap and water at her disposal. Decontamination of hospitals and other types of facilities is common practice these days, but we should also make sure to decontaminate our home, offices, and any place illness could be spread; this includes high traffic areas or contact zones such as handles, door knobs, rails, etc. Major steps of better disinfection and sanitization need to be involved and instituted in order to help prevent some of the unnecessary deaths that our occurring in hospitals around the world.

Educating of Infection Control

A prominent consideration of infection control is education. Part of the reason Ebola has been spreading is not only the lack of proper decontamination, but it is primarily due to lack of education. Essentially, people are not aware that what they are doing is continuing to spread the virus. How can you know if you aren’t informed? Community health educators work hard, in places like America, to spread a wealth of knowledge to people to keep them safe and healthy.

In third world countries, a lot of times they have to wait for outside help to work with their communities. Word of mouth campaigns and hands-on teaching practices reach people effectively, but it takes a lot of manpower and money. Part of the reason why epidemics spread so quickly in poorer countries is simply attributable to the lack of resources for appropriate infection control. To achieve a high success of infection control, people have to follow the regulations and guidelines set by their government, work together in communities, and spread the wealth of resources throughout the world to help those in need.

I think one’s feelings waste themselves in words; they ought all to be distilled into actions which bring results.”—Florence Nightingale   

Need help learning more how you can fight infectious disease? Visit SMT’s website and also look at the guidelines on OSHA website on infectious disease to help guide you to best practices.

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*For an informative infographic on infection control, check this out!