Working Together to Prevent Infection

Preventing infections is important so you can recover quickly and stay healthy. All patient care providers, including doctors and nurses, are doing everything possible to prevent the spread of infection in the hospital. You may see your team wear protective coverings (like masks, gowns, eye shields) to protect them and you.

Hand washing is the best way to decrease the spread of infections!

  • Everyone, including you and your visitors, MUST wash his or her hands when entering and leaving your room.

  • Use the alcohol hand gel located near entryways, or use soap and water.

  • Do not permit anyone to touch you, your IV, or wounds if you did not see them wash their hands. This includes your doctor or nurse. If you are not certain, ask them if they washed their hands.

  • Wash your hands after sneezing, coughing, touching eyes, nose, or mouth, and after using the restroom.

  • Ask visitors not to visit you if they do not feel well, have an infection, or even if they have a runny nose.

  • Obey the isolation signs - please wear mask and gown as instructed. Please ask a nurse to help visitors the first time they enter an isolation room.

Anyone can get an infection, but some patients may be at higher risk such as:

  • Transplant patients

  • Patients receiving treatment for cancer or HIV

  • Patients who have surgery

  • Patients who have certain diseases, such as diabetes

Why are some patients on isolation?

  • To prevent the spread of infection from one patient to other patients.

  • Sometimes the isolation is temporary and needed only until the infection can no longer be spread to others. For example, isolation for the flu lasts only for a few days. In other cases, it may be used each time the patient is admitted to the hospital. For example, isolation for patients with MRSA will continue until discharge and for future admissions. These patients can usually continue to pass these bacteria to other patients in the hospital even though they are not sick from it themselves.

  • If you are on isolation, everyone must wear the correct items before entering the room. If someone does not come in with the correct coverings, please ask them to return with the right coverings.

This page was last updated: June 4, 2013

         
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