Ask the Care Expert about ... infection prevention

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Sherrie Dornberger, RN, CDONA, FACDONA, Executive Director, NADONA
Sherrie Dornberger, RN, CDONA, FACDONA, Executive Director, NADONA

We are working hard on infection prevention at my facility. Do you have any ideas on how to really make staff think about how important they are to this process?

Invite their kids to a program and also do some Glo Germ™ with the kids' hands and handwashing.

Put some Glo Germ on your hands and shake hands with those entering the program. Afterward, show them with the small black light in the Glo Germ kit all of the places you have successfully transferred germs. SURPRISE! You can get a mini kit with the black light flashlight at a very large online super store for around $20.

There is also a great free video https://cddep.org/publications. It features a little super bug that tells how he becomes a super bug. It is animated, very enjoyable and free. The employees and kids will love it. Residents love it, too. (You might also want to have a program for them.)

Next, teach the residents about washing hands. They will be more involved in asking staff to assist them wash, which also will help your mission. At an in-service, tell stories that staff can relate to, like going to the grocery store or to places with their families such as movies, sporting events or fast food places.

Give them things to look for to prevent the spread of infections, such as the handrails on the escalators, door handles, using a public restroom, coughing and putting their mouth into the bend of their arm (to not allow the spray to go all over).

Talk about droplet transmission, even signing in and out of the office at school if you are picking the kids up early or bringing them late. I am sure the pen tied to the attendance book, for example, is covered with those super germs from everyone leaving sick!