The VNs role in prevention of hospital acquired infections
The VNs role in the prevention of hospital acquired infections
A HAI is classified as an infection that occurs:
- up to 48 hours after hospital admission
- up to 3 days after discharge
- up to 30 days after an operation
- in a healthcare setting when the patient was admitted for reasons other than an infection
Causes of HAIs
Bacteria, fungus, and viruses can cause HAIs. In human medicine bacteria alone cause about 90% of cases. Patients who are immunocompromised are at increased risk of contracting an infection during hospitalisation.
These microorganisms spread mainly through person-to-patient contact from unclean hands; medical and hospital equipment.
HAIs also increase with excessive or incorrect selection of antibiotics, which can lead to emergence of antibiotic resistance bacteria.
The most common types of HAIs are:
- Surgical site infections
- Intravenous catheter and arterial line associated infections
- Catheter-associated urinary tract infections
Preventing nosocomial infections
A 70% decrease in HAI can be seen when a team is taking steps in prevention and veterinary nurses are well positioned to be at the forefront of infection control within the veterinary practice. In this session we will focus on specific areas where veterinary nurses can have a real impact.
General recommendations could include:
- Correct kennel selection (is isolation/barrier nursing needed)
- Focus on exceptional 5-point hand hygiene
- The availability and correct use of personal protective equipment
- Correct cleaning of clinical environments
- Correct ventilation
- The use of strict aseptic techniques (IV catheter care, blood sampling, urinary catheter care etc.)
- Removal of unnecessary indwelling devices as soon as no longer required
- Provision of high-quality nursing care.
Recording from 16.10.2019
Claire Roberts RVN Dip AVN(Surg)
Claire has been veterinary nursing for over 20 years. In 2006 she gained the Diploma in Advanced Veterinary Nursing (Surgical) and in 2013 she gained the VN certificate in Emergency and Critical care. Claire successfully passed the post graduate certificate in veterinary anaesthesia and analgesia. Claire works part time as a theatre nurse for a multi-disciplinary referral centre based in Cheshire alongside running her own CPD company called SynergyCPD