Preventing Hospital Infections
Infection Control is a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of infection among patients, visitors and healthcare workers. Infections can occur after many types of medical procedures.
What You Can Do to Help Prevent the Spread of Infection
Proper Hand Washing Technique
- Wash Your Hands. Good hand washing is one of the most important steps in preventing the spread of infection. Wash your hands before and after eating, drinking smoking or handling food. Also wash your hands thoroughly after restroom use.
- Remind your Healthcare team to Wash their hands. Since you are part of your healthcare team, please remind doctors and nurses about washing their hands before working with you. It is okay to ask your healthcare team – including doctors – if they have washed their hands.
- When coughing or sneezing, please consider others. If you do not have a tissue handy, cough or sneeze into your sleeve and not into the air for germs to be shared. If you cough or sneeze into a tissue, throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands. Do not use handkerchiefs.
- If you have an intravenous catheter, keep the skin around the dressing clean and dry. Please tell your nurse promptly if the dressing looks wet or gets wet.
- Likewise, if you have a dressing on a wound, please let your nurse know promptly if it works loose or gets wet.
- If you have any type of catheter or drainage tube, please let your nurse know promptly if it becomes loose or dislodged.
- If you have diabetes, be sure that you and your doctor discuss the best way to control your blood sugar before, during and after your hospital stay. High blood sugar increases the risk of infection.
- If you are overweight, losing weight will reduce the risk of infection following surgery.
- If you are a smoker, you should consider a smoking cessation program. This will reduce the chance of developing a lung infection while in the hospital and may also improve your healing following surgery.
- Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions regarding breathing treatments and getting out of bed. Please don't be afraid to ask for help, advice, or pain medications.
- If possible, please ask your friends and relatives not to visit if they feel sick.
- Please don’t be afraid to ask questions about your care so that you may fully understand your treatment plan and expected outcomes. You and your family/friends will be able to better help you with your recovery.
- Use soap and water and lots of friction – rub your hands together rapidly.
- Lather and scrub your hands for a minimum of 15 seconds.
- Rinse hands thoroughly.
- Dry with a paper towel and then use a dry paper towel to turn off the faucet.
Infection Control Regulations
Most patients can receive live plants or flowers. Those who cannot include patients in critical care units or immunocompromised patients such as those receiving chemotherapy. These patients can receive silk flowers, cards or e-cards.
Other regulations include
- Food should be handled and stored properly to prevent spoiling.
- Visits by children under age 12 are discouraged. This protects the patient as well as the children.
- Personal pets are not allowed in the hospital.
If you have any questions, please ask your physician or nurse or call Cullman Regional Medical Center’s Infection Control Department at (256) 737-2456.