Running head: THE NURSE ROLE IN NOSOCOMIAL INFECTION 1 The Nurse’s Role in the Reduction of Nosocomial Infection N 211: Research paper John Miller Spring Quarter 2009 Nosocomial infections are infections that develop during a stay in a healthcare facility that does not relate to the primary reason for admission. Occupational infections developed by the healthcare staff are also considered to be nosocomial. Nurses can play a significant role in the reduction of nosocomial infection by using the appropriate infection control measures when caring for patients. Over 80% of nosocomial infections happen within 30 days of admission; on the other hand, only 6% of nosocomial infections happen after 30 days of admission (Brossette, Hacek, Gavin, Kamdar, Gadbois &Fisher, 2006, p. 37). Nosocomial infections, such as bacteremias, surgical wound infection, pneumonia and urinary tract infection, are also associated with major morbidity in hospitalized patients. As Jeong et al. (2006) mentioned, “The most common infection site was pneumonia (28%), bloodstream infection (26%) and conjunctivitis (22%) and major pathogens were Gram-positives such as Staphylococcus aureus and coagulase- negative staphylococci” (Jeong, Jeong & Choi, 2006, p. 3). It may be due to repeated handling of patients by healthcare providers and their families with poor handwashing. These nosocomial infections add significantly to the expected length of stay for patients. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 2 million patients get healthcare-associated infections every year and almost 100,000 of them die (Semmelmayer, 2009). Despite advances in patient care, nosocomial infections continue to be a serious threat, causing adverse outcomes and increased costs. According to Dr. John A. Jernigan at the CDC, hospital-acquired infections result in up to $27.5 billion in additional health care expenses annually (Semmelmayer, 2009). Hospitals could prevent many infections through stricter adherence to proven infection control practices, and nurses also need to focus on the basic nursing principles of patients’ care that will make to prevent nosocomial infections. Having an understanding about the chain of infection, and how the chain can be broken, or eliminated can aid in infection prevention. The first link in the chain of infection is the infectious agent, or pathogen, which needs to be present whether it’s viral, bacterial, fungal, or parasitic. Link two is the reservoir where the pathogen grows and reproduces in a warm, moist environment. Humans and animals are perfect reservoirs for a potentially infectious pathogen. Other reservoirs include food, water, table tops, and doorknobs. The third link, known as the Portals of exit are the means by which the pathogen exits the reservoir such as respiratory tracts, GI tracts, GU tracts, skin, mucus membranes, and blood. The fourth link is the mode of transmission, which is the means of transportation for the pathogen from the reservoir to a susceptible host. The modes of transmission are contact, droplet, airbone, vehicle, and vector (Black & Hawks, 2005, p. 419). The fifth link is the portal of
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- Summer '16
- Nosocomial infection, Staphylococcus aureus, Hand Washing, nosocomial infections, Medical hygiene