Some potentially pathogenic bacteria and fungi, including strains of Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, Candida, and Aspergillus, can survive for one to three months on a variety of materials found in hospitals, including scrub suits, lab coats, plastic aprons, and computer keyboards. What can hospital personnel do to reduce the spread of these pathogens?
Hospital personnel have numerous steps they could take to prevent the spread of harmful pathogens that can survive for a long time on different materials used by employees and on patients starting with the easiest of them all: washing your hands frequently. Hand washing is the cornerstone for reducing what hospitals call HAIs (Hospital-acquired infections), all staff and people in the facility should be encouraged to wash their hands before drinking, eating, providing care with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Creating an Infection-control policy that covers the daily, weekly, and monthly routines for sanitizing and disinfecting commonly reusable tools like scrub suits, lab coats, plastic aprons, and computer keyboards that could still come in contact with pathogens. The policy should also cover the level of sterile techniques that should be used to properly clean those items.
“Healthcare Settings.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 28 Feb. 2019, www.cdc.gov/mrsa/healthcare/index.html.
I work in a health care facility and instantly feel dirty as soon as I walk in. I try to use gloves to touch almost everything and wash my hands so much that they are extremely dry and cracking (even before the pandemic). One thing hospitals and health care facilities can do to better protect the spread of pathogens is to disinfect surfaces on a more regular basis. I think they should also target surfaces that get the most traffic more frequently as well like door knobs, elevator buttons, front desks and so on. All of the microbes mentioned above can be killed using a disinfectant or a fumigation process. If possible the hospitals should fumigate sections of the hospital. As much as possible hospitals should use disposable items as well. This can prevent the spread of pathogens as well. Decontamination of lab coats and scrubs should be a must as well as keyboards and privacy curtains.
Disinfecting as much as possible is key especially with bleach and antibacterial sanitizers.