All right, so we talked about that chain of infection.
Now we're gonna talk about that in the healthcare setting.
So healthcare-associated infections are one of
the biggest issues in healthcare we have today.
We typically call them HAIs.
So if you see this acronym, this is very common
and you'll probably see this again in charting,
in the healthcare system or in your nursing curriculum.
So we're talking about HAIs.
These are infections that can occur as a result of an individual
receiving a care or treatment from healthcare professionals.
Now the issue with HAI, is the problem is us as
health care's usually inflict this on other patients.
These can result in longer length of stays,
really poor patient outcomes, complications,
and a lot of the times even death.
So with HAIs, we've got to
think about high risk individuals.
These can be several different populations,
such as those that are poorly nourished,
elderly patients, weak, or someone with a weakened
immune system, or chronic and multiple illnesses.
Now, the longer you're in your nursing
curriculum or your nursing program,
you're gonna to notice that
patients have many of these factors
so the risk of a healthcare-associated infection is great.
So we're talking about HAIs, they're
associated again, with many factors,
and many of them in nursing, we cannot
control but we need to consider these.
So nursing, for example, cannot influence age, right?
So your younger adult is typically not
as susceptible as your older adult patient.
We also got to think of the site of infection.
This can matter in regards to
the bloodstream or respiratory.
There's different sites of the infection that can
make huge differences on a patient outcome.
Also, the disease process and treatment
therapy, we can't necessarily change that in nursing.
And we've got to think about the
number of invasive procedures.
Unfortunately, when a patient's in
there, we've got in the hospital,
we have to think about several different
diagnostic procedures to treat the patient,
or maybe even to find the diagnosis.
So because of the numerous invasive
procedures the patient may have to undergo,
their healthcare-associated infection risk is very high.
And lastly, don't think of-- don't forget
about those things before the hospital.
What are their habits? Do they have a lot
of stressors? What's their nutritional status?
These can all affect healthcare-associated infections.
In nursing, we don't really
have a lot of control over these.
However, we can influence a lot of factors and
that's where we come in and good practice comes in,
such as washing your hands, looking at
vital signs and disinfect whenever possible.
We can influence with just some of these
things, the length of stay for the patient.
We also can make sure we're taking
infection precautions such as again,
gowning, and gloving using personal
protective equipment and washing our hands.
The other thing nursing can influence
and we are the big frontline people on this is,
how long is a central line or maybe
an indwelling catheter in the patient.
Now we have lots of protocols in
the hospital to help us evaluate those
to help us make a decision and when to remove these lines.
These are typically in the patient, and
because anytime something foreign is in the body,
you're at risk for infection.
So as nurses, we need to do daily assessment and be
diligent about removing these when they are not necessary.
So the number of healthcare employees
contacting the patient, we can cluster our care.
You probably are thinking, well, how
can we stop from going into a patient room?
You're totally right, we can't do that
but we can cluster the amount of care
and the number of times that we go into the room.
We can also minimize visitors when
the patient is definitely at risk for infection.
And lastly, don't forget about that
post-hospitalization plan of care.
So are there things that we can
educate the patient and let them know 'hey,
if you follow these instructions, this can definitely
reduce your risk of healthcare-associated infections'.