How to Minimize Microbial Resistance (Nursing)

by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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    00:01 Okay, what are some things that we can do that are actually my responsibility to do as a nurse to minimize more of these superbugs growing, or the spread of the superbugs that we've already developed? Well, you want to educate your family members, your friends, and your patients that, "Listen, you don't always need an antibiotic. I understand you don't feel good, but if we keep treating viruses with antibiotics -- so if you want an antibiotic for the flu, or a cold, or a runny nose, or a sore throat, we're going to increase our chances of making more of these superbug villains." When you do get an antibiotic appropriately prescribed for you, take the full prescription.

    00:42 So when you're educating patients, these are really important things to keep in mind that you want to tell them, if the doctor's written it for another 7 days,10 days, 14 days, whatever it is, they can't stop that prescription or taking those antibiotics every day until all the medication is gone.

    00:59 Because you don't want them to just stop taking it when they feel better.

    01:03 In fact, you can let them know that. "Hey, when you start taking this antibiotic and we really start changing the ads, you are going to feel better, but don't stop taking the medication because it really puts us at risk for that infection coming back stronger, and for developing more superbugs." Don't take anyone else's leftover prescriptions.

    01:23 Okay, all of us are guilty of not finishing some prescription and then holding on to the bottle like a hoarder.

    01:30 And so, if we went through most people's medicine cabinets, they've got this whole, like, plethora of samples and things that they have left over from all the family members. Stop.

    01:40 Get rid of those either -- if it's an antibiotic and your doctor told you to finish the prescription, finish the prescription.

    01:47 If, for some reason, your health care provider decided that you stop in the middle, you need to make sure that you get rid of that medication responsibly.

    01:55 So don't take someone else's prescription.

    01:57 It's not a good idea for you to tell somebody, "Hey, I've got antibiotic for that. Why don't you just take this?" No, because you're probably taking an inappropriate antibiotic for the bug and you're just increasing microbial resistance.

    02:10 So, using combination drugs, we've talked about a lot of those.

    02:13 Just for fun, stop for just a minute and see if you can remember any of the combination antibiotic drugs that we've studied -- we've even talked about some in this video -- look at some of the combination drugs that we've studied and write them in the margin of your notes.

    02:32 Now, combination drugs are really cool, like remember what we used with the penicillins so they can avoid the beta-lactamases.

    02:39 We've used 2 different antibiotics together, so you're bam, bam, it's like a 1, 2 punch.

    02:43 You're coming at that bug with a couple different directions. That's really cool.

    02:47 That's why combination drugs are usually better.

    02:50 Now, urinary catheters, we talked about that.

    02:54 Sometimes, though, we've been -- you know, it's a lot of work to get a patient up, or you're worried about them falling, and so it seems like an easy answer to just put a urinary catheter in, but it really puts them at increased risk.

    03:06 So, only put urinary catheters in when we don't have any other option.

    03:11 Do what you have to do to try to avoid doing that.

    03:14 And when you do use them, we have some specially coated catheters that do somewhat minimize the risk of urinary tract infections, but that's a huge problem in a hospital setting for someone to have a urinary catheter.

    03:26 It is a direct line of infection. I just think of it -- it's like I see all these bugs on a little escalator going straight up into that patient's body.

    03:34 Remember, you are sharp enough to look at culture and sensitivity reports.

    03:39 You know how to read them. We've talked about that.

    03:41 If you haven't watched that video yet, go back and check that one out because you are more than capable to take a look at a culture and sensitivity report, identify the organism based on the report, know if it's positive or negative.

    03:55 Know what the shape of the organism is.

    03:57 Look at a listing of antibiotics and know which one is going to be effective and which one is not.

    04:03 Because, remember, if you see an R on there, means resistant.

    04:07 That means the bug is resistant to that medication, it won't work.

    04:11 And if you see an S on that report, it is sensitive to that and that's what we're looking for.

    04:17 You are more than capable of doing that.

    04:20 So get in there, roll your sleeves up, take a look at those reports, and be a really effective member of the health care team.

    About the Lecture

    The lecture How to Minimize Microbial Resistance (Nursing) by Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN is from the course Anti-Infective Drugs in Nursing. It contains the following chapters:

    • How to Minimize Microbial Resistance

    Included Quiz Questions

    1. Take the full prescription of antibiotics as instructed
    2. Use antibiotics for flu and the common cold
    3. Stop taking medication once symptoms are resolved
    4. Save left over antibiotics incase the infection reoccurs
    1. A client with a urinary catheter in place
    2. A client who finished the prescribed antibiotic regimen
    3. A client taking a narrow-spectrum antibiotic
    4. A client taking combination drugs
    1. The microorganism is susceptible to the antibiotic
    2. The microorganism is resistant to the antibiotic
    3. The microorganism can grow and multiply
    4. The microorganism suppresses the effect of the antibiotic

    Author of lecture How to Minimize Microbial Resistance (Nursing)

     Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

    Rhonda Lawes, PhD, RN

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