Hospitals are an odd mix of the sick, the terminal, and the healthy. People go there because they need medical attention, and the people that work there want to help without getting sick themselves. Then there is the third group, those transporting or visiting people in the hospital. Unfortunately, trips to the hospital become more frequent as we get older, so there is risk associated with being in a hospital beyond your own illness. Get to know the important cleaning techniques in hospitals so you can notice if best practices are being followed and avoid areas that look less than clean and stay healthy.
Gloves Are a Must
Improperly using gloves or not wearing them at all will spread dangerous bacteria. Different gloves should be worn in different areas of the hospital. Assigning different gloves for household tasks, patient rooms, and handling soiled items will prevent the spread of germs. Gloves should always be changed between patients, never worn in hallways, and changed when moving from a residential area to a shared restroom space.
Notice High Touch Areas
High touch areas are those that a lot of different people come into direct contact with. Staff should always clean those areas thoroughly and frequently. They aren’t just limited to doorknobs and public facilities, either. High touch areas like examination equipment such as an ultrasound machine, scale, or x-ray machine also need frequent cleaning between patient use.
Limit Air Pollution
Hospitals have many biological hazards, and staff should take some precautions in order to limit air pollution. To keep bacteria out of the air, they should roll soiled bedclothes away from themselves and place them, not throw them, in the linen bin. Trash bags should be tied after expelling the extra air from the bag.
Immediate Disposal of Contaminated Materials
Nothing that came into contact with a patient should be brought out of an examination room. The only exception would be samples taken for testing. Any syringe, tongue depressor, or bandages should be disposed of in the appropriate container in the examination room. Removing them can lead to cross-contamination and the spread of bacteria.
Wipe Down Rooms
After an exam, every room should be wiped down thoroughly. New paper should be laid on the exam table and surfaces wiped with disinfectant. The most important cleaning techniques in hospitals are the most common sense ones.