5 Guidelines of Universal Precautions Training
Infectious diseases pose a high risk in health care centers. Health care professionals often come in contact with infected blood and other body fluids. Universal precautions are measures taken by these professionals in order to protect themselves. Universal precautions training will ensure that all employees follow simple guidelines to protect themselves while dealing with patients and handling body fluids. It is essential that employees are taught how to handle blood and body fluids in a safe manner. Then accidents and spread of infection can be prevented.
Precautions need to be taken for all patients even though any outward sign of infectious disease may not be seen. This is because many of them will not have any symptoms when they come for initial treatment. If proper precautions are not taken diseases like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV can spread.
5 major guidelines in universal precautions training are discussed below:
• The simplest guideline that is often disregarded is hand washing. Hand washing is essential both before and after attending to a patient. It protects the patient and it also protects you from infection. A good disinfectant soap should be used with hot water to wash your hands. It is the most easiest and effectual way to keep infection from spreading.
• Hospital staff must wear protective gear when dealing with potentially infectious patients. Different protective clothing is designed for different procedures. Gloves are basic gear to be worn always. You are required to change protective gear for every patient as well as for different procedures on the same patient. You must regularly check the gear for any tear or damage.
• Some procedures may cause blood and other body fluids to splash across your body, eyes or face. This is especially true for laboratory technicians and operation-theatre (OT) technicians. Apron, gown, cap and eye mask is to be worn during even the smallest of procedures to avoid the fluids coming in contact with you.
• The hospital needs to follow proper sterilization methods according to prescribes guidelines. All used protective clothing and gear should be collected separately and later decontaminated and sterilized before being used again.
• Health care professionals who use needles and other sharp instruments need to make sure they dispose them off carefully. Special containers that are puncture proof are used for this purpose. These special containers need to be secure and kept under lock and key. This will prevent accidents from taking place until the needles and sharp objects are disposed.
Other than basic hygiene, guidelines of universal precaution need to be followed by the hospital staff as a safeguard against infectious diseases. The universal precaution guidelines are very simple to follow. Following these 5 simple steps will stop the spread of infection and provide protection against communicable diseases. Other than hospitals and health care facilities, universal precautions training should be given to any individual who may come in contact with potentially infected blood and other body fluids.
Never neglect even the simple act of washing your hands. One simple mistake can cost you your life.