6 Simple Tips To Avoiding Infection In Hospital
Stop the spread of illness in hospital with these easy steps for both patients and visitors (hint - washing your hands is one of them).
Hospitals are places that try their best to save your life. Doctors and nurses work day in and day out diagnosing, treating and caring for hundreds of patients.
As hygienic as hospitals are, there are, of course, bugs, bacteria and viruses from other patients floating around. Because of this, a number of patients contract illnesses while they are in hospital. And then there’s the factor of ‘sick’ visitors coming to see patients who bring bugs into the hospital with them.
That’s why we have put together this list of top tips to help you avoid infection while staying in hospital or visiting someone who is in hospital.
Keep in mind that patients with potentially infectious diseases will be isolated and put in rooms where they cannot infect other patients.
Of course, every hospital is different and not all hospitals have the space to allow for isolation or are able to identify and prevent potentially infectious diseases quickly enough.
So, here’s what else patients and visitors can do to prevent infection:
1. Wash your hands
Make sure you wash your hands with soap and water. You can also make use of the hand sanitisers in hospital rooms. This will help reduce the spread of infection and limit your risks of infection.
You need to wash your hands both BEFORE and AFTER seeing a patient.
It’s easy to do so make sure you do it!
2. DO NOT touch your face
This is something many of us do without even knowing we do it.
Did you know that we touch our faces an average amount of 15 times an hour?
Touching your face will spread bugs from your hands to your mouth and nose, this can spread illnesses such as diarrhoea to colds and even more serious conditions.
3. Make sure you are vaccinated
When a patient is hospitalised, their immune system will not be able to cope with another infection.
It’s important to make sure you have been vaccinated against serious diseases in order to protect those who are at their most vulnerable.
4. If you are sick, stay home!
Even if you think you are not that sick, or you just have a little cough and a runny nose - stay at home! You are still carrying the bacteria or virus in your body that made you sick and this means you can make other patients or visitors sick.
How to reduce the risk of doctors, nurses and yourself
Did you know that nurses and doctors are sometimes pricked by needles or other sharp objects that might be infected?
There are ways you can help reduce the risk of infection...
5. Move out of the nurses' way
Do not get in the way of a nurse or doctor. When you get in their way, you are increasing their chances of needlestick risks because you are distracting them.
When a medical professional is busy with a patient, leave them alone to do their job. You can ask questions afterwards.
6. Stay away from things that are labelled ‘do not touch’
This might seem obvious, but you will be surprised just how many people tamper with things they shouldn’t.
In major hospitals, there are wastebins or boxes that are designed for sharp objects such as needles or scalpels to be discarded in. This protects other people from accidentally pricking themselves.
What should I do if I pricked myself with a needle or tampered with something I shouldn’t have?
The first thing you need to do is tell a nurse or doctor.
Don’t be ashamed to admit you were wrong and get the medical help you need.
What it comes down to
Here’s a basic recap of this article (it might help to print this out to help prevent infection in hospitals for both patients and visitors):
- Keep your hands clean!
- Don’t touch your face
- Make sure you are vaccinated
- Stay home if you are sick
- Stay out of the nurses’ and doctor’s way
- Do not touch sharp objects and waste bins for medical waste
How to afford private hospital stays
Private healthcare is very expensive - we all know this! And public healthcare clinics and facilities are often understaffed, ill-equipped and lacking the much-needed funding to operate at their best abilities.
Which leads so many of us turning to private healthcare and medical aid.
But medical aid doesn’t come cheap. However, there is a more affordable option...
To afford private hospital care, then make sure you have health insurance (the affordable alternative to medical aid) to have cover for hospital stays.
The great thing about us (Oneplan Health Insurance), is that we offer more than just a hospital plan. We also include cover for illness in hospital.
The best part is that with us, we pay you BEFORE you see the doctor and also let you go to any private doctor of your choice.
Yours in hassle-free health insurance,