Hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment


Intravenous literature: Wyeth, J. (2013) Hand hygiene and the use of personal protective equipment. British Journal of Nursing. 22(16), p.920-925.


Infection prevention and control nurses (IPCNs) have an extremely wide remit in relation to the facilitation of appropriate infection prevention and control practice within healthcare environments. In order to be effective IPCNs need to be involved at all stages of healthcare service delivery and need to form close working relationships with staff at all levels and in all departments within their organisation. The provision of the necessary facilities within the clinical environment, along with the ongoing training and support of staff are essential prerequisites to changing the behaviour of staff in order to consistently deliver effective hand hygiene and other infection prevention and control practices. Auditing of practice and the investigation of incidents enable the identification of areas of practice requiring improvement, which subsequently informs the continual development of training programmes and initiatives with a view to improving patient and staff safety. IPCNs need to be able to react swiftly to the emergence of new infectious organisms and/or evidence to identify what is required in order to ensure that staff are compliant with anticipated practice to maintain the safety of the patients in their care, themselves and their colleagues.

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