I wonder how many custodian’s walk into the women’s washroom to do their regular clean…
Hospital infection control: Staying safe on the job
If you’re a seasoned janitorial professional like me, chances are you spend a lot of your time in hospitals and long-term care facilities, disinfecting and disposing infectious waste. Have you ever wondered just how many bugs you’re exposed to on a daily basis?
If you’re not careful, you can pick up some pretty nasty germs on the job. In fact, it’s estimated that about 250,000 Canadians contract life-threatening illnesses in the hospital each year. Wow. But there’s one easily-spread silent killer we all need to be aware of.
Enter “deadly diarrhea.”
Often called C. diff, Clostridium difficile is a bacterium that causes diarrhea and other serious intestinal conditions. It’s also one of the most common infections found in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Before you get all worked up, know that not all is lost. Yes, C. diff is scary and it has the potential to wreak serious havoc on the human body. But with me as your guide, you’ll have the knowledge and tools necessary to protect patients, visitors and yourself from the spread of germs and infection in hospitals and long-term care facilities.
Who’s at risk for C. diff?
There’s a number of factors that can increase your risk for C. diff infection, but the number one risk factor is exposure through proximity.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you’re working in the healthcare industry or responsible for cleaning a hospital or long-term care facility, you’re at risk. These sneaky germs can quickly spread from person-to-person on contaminated equipment. If proper infection prevention and hospital sanitation guidelines aren’t enforced or followed in the work environment, your chances of contracting a C. diff infection will increase exponentially.
Studies also show that the older you are, the more susceptible you may be. Your current health and underlying illnesses can also affect the likelihood that you’ll catch C. diff on the job.
How can I protect myself from C. diff?
Whether you’re a patient or healthcare/support provider, handwashing is essential to preventing C. diff infections. Washing hands with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand rub is your number one course of action to protect yourself from C. diff, especially after using the restroom.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) and commercial cleaning products that limit the spread of germs and other infectious material should be used by all employees in hospitals or long-term care facilities. Latex gloves or face masks can be used by healthcare workers to limit personal contact between themselves and infected patients.
Of course, if used PPE is not disposed of properly according to infection control guidelines, the risk of C. diff infection increases for everyone in your facility.
Luckily, I’ve got a simple solution to this problem.
Hospital infection control and sanitation guidelines in long-term care facilities
Allow me to introduce you to the Janibell XO. This product is a healthcare worker’s dream disposal product: it leaves zero room for cross contamination when it comes to the disposal of personal protective equipment.
Like all Janibell receptacles, XO helps prevent the spread of pathogens, viruses and bacterium like C. diff by containing and minimizing exposure to the waste. In fact, XO provides maximum efficiency, hygiene and waste free disposal in most commercial environments.
The beauty of the XO is its simplicity. Here’s a quick video we’ve put together to demonstrate the product’s ease of use and effectiveness when it comes to infection prevention and control:
Do you work in the healthcare industry? Are you interested in learning more about how to protect yourself when you’re on the job? Let’s connect on Twitter and Facebook where I’m always sharing janitorial tips and tricks. I’m proud to be the premier distributor of commercial cleaning products in Barrie and the surrounding areas of Simcoe County.
Til next time, keep it clean!