tsandard precautions

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Today I would like to discuss a subject, which is very relevant to Nursing; we have been introduced to this subject very briefly in our practical sessions.

The journal, which we will present, is on Standard Precautions.

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The article is a Nursing Standard article which is owned by nurses for nurses. The article was published in May 17.

I will now give you some brief history on the subject.

Universal blood and body fluid precautions (Universal Precautions) were originally devised by the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in 185. In response to an urgent need to protect hospital personnel from blood borne infections. Emphasis is based on the assumption that all persons are presumed infectious.

In Australia the term Universal Precautions was deemed ambiguous and leading to a false notion that wearing gloves was a substitute for hand washing and that this perception was leading to an increase in the risk of hospital acquired infection.

An Infection Control working party recommended the term “Standard Precautions” as the basic risk minimisation strategy and “Additional Precautions” where Standard Precautions may be insufficient.

OVERHEAD No 1 (Definitions)

“Standard Precautions” describes the minimum requirements in work practices to promote infection control.

They include good hygiene particularly washing and drying of hands before and after patient contact, and the use of protective barriers, which may include gloves, gowns or aprons, masks, eye shields or goggles.

Appropriate handling of sharps and other contaminated or infectious waste.

“Additional Precautions” have also been adopted when standard precautions may be insufficient to prevent transmission of infection.

Health care workers who come into contact with patient’s blood and body fluids may be exposed to an occupational risk from blood borne and viral infections such as HIV and Hepatitis B & C.

The most likely form of transmission of these viruses to nurses is by direct contact of infected blood by a sharps injury or by blood splashing onto broken skin or mucous membranes such as the lining of the mouth.

As a matter of good practice nursing staff should use appropriate barrier methods, which will prevent the contamination by blood and body fluids.

OVERHEAD No (Standard Precautions Apply To)

1 Blood

All body secretions and excretions, except sweat regardless of whether they contain blood.

Non Intact skin.

4 Mucous membranes such as the lining of the mouth.

OVERHEAD No (Standard Precautions promote the use of

Personal protective equipment)

(GLOVES) Gloves prevent the transmission of pathogens by direct and indirect contact.

Nurses apply gloves when there is a risk of handling infected material.

In most cases single use gloves can be worn.

After coming into contact with any infected material, the nurse should change gloves if the client care is not completed.

Gloves must be removed and hands washed between patient care.

(APRONS/ GOWNS) The primary reason for gowning is to prevent soiling of clothing during contact with the patient.

Gowns protect nurses from coming into contact with infected material.

Gowns or aprons prevent cross contamination in instances such as changing a dressing for a wound, which has purulent discharge.

The gown or apron should be long enough to cover all outer garments.

(MASKS/ FACE PROTECTION) Masks or masks with face shields should be worn when splashing or spraying of blood or body fluid into the face is anticipated.

A properly applied mask fits snugly over the mouth and nose so that pathogens and body fluids cannot enter or escape through the sides.


In concluding!

Everyday every shift nursing staff practice Standard Precautions,

most of the time without even thinking about it, the article is very relevant to the work, which we will soon be performing.

The strengths of the article were that it was clear and precise, it didn’t get lost in terminology and jargon.

The only weakness is that the article is titled Universal Precautions which is now outdated.

The article was informative without being to technical.

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