The principles of infection prevention and conrol
Explain employees’ roles and responsibilities in relation to the prevention and control of infection. It is our responsibility as employees to take precautionary measures to prevent and control the spread of infection in the workplace this involves working safely to protect myself, other staff, visitors and individuals from infections. Some of the legislation and regulations that relate to the control and prevention of infection include the Health and Safety at Work Act, COSHH and RIDDOR. It is important as employees that we are aware of these so that we can work safely.
Explain employers’ responsibilities in relation to the prevention and control of Infection. Employers should make the workplace a safe environment that is safe for work but also for all individuals and visitors. Employers must carry out risk assessments to assess the dangers of certain work activities and then are responsible for putting strategies in place for minimizing the risk. Employers must provide PPE and provide training and refresher updates on infection control. 2. 1 Outline current legislation and regulatory body standards which are relevant to the Prevention and control of infection.
There are laws and legal regulations about infection prevention and control. Most of the legal regulations relating to infection prevention and control come under the Health and Safety at Work Act. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations introduced the need for monitoring health and safety and risk assessment. The Food Safety Act was brought in to ensure safe practices for food to avoid contamination and spreading of infection and includes handling, storing and disposal of food.
Describe procedures and systems relevant to the prevention and control of infection. Health care providers are also responsible for providing systems and procedures for preventing and controlling infection in terms of monitoring any infection outbreaks, providing immunization programs and using barrier nursing in care settings to contain and prevent the spread of infection strict procedures must be followed when providing care to an individual being barrier nursed such as careful removal and disposal of PPE, through hand washing procedures and equipment.
Explain the potential impact of an out of infection on the individuals and the organisation. The outbreak of infection can be fatal if care is not taken; for instance an outbreak of MRSA that can be resistant to most antibiotics can be fatal. The outbreak of an infection has consequences for individuals, staff and the organisation. It can cause ill health to all concerned and it can also impact emotionally because people that acquire infection relate it to being dirty and some infections may require people to be isolated from others for a period of time.
The organisation could lose money if most of the staff is off sick and as they will then need to employ more staff. 4. 1 The term risk means the likelihood of a hazard or an activity causing harm. 4. 2 In the workplace supporting individuals with personal care activities and sharing facilities with others involve coming into contact with bodily fluids. Cleaning areas such as bathrooms that are dirty and where bodily fluids are present may be more likely to be contaminated. Handling laundry that may be dirty or contaminated with bodily fluids can also contain pathogens.
Handling or disposing of clinical waste, emptying waste containers will also bring you into waste that are contaminated with pathogens. Providing personal care activities that require being close to an individual and dealing with bodily fluids increases the chance of infections spreading. 4. 3 Risk assessment helps makes us aware of the risks involved in any activity and know how to reduce or remove the risk. It also helps to protect the organisation’s reputation because the risk assessment identifies the risks in the workplace and the measures put in place to control risks.
In general, risk assessments are important as they reduce the risks of accidents and ill health to everyone. 4. 4 There are five main stages to carrying out a risk assessment: 1) Identify the hazard – this means finding out what the hazards are and what might cause harm by observing but also by speaking with individuals, staff and visitors. 2) Evaluate the risks – this stage involves deciding who might be harmed and how and involves considering everyone in the workplace such as individuals, staff and visitors.
Take precautions – this involves deciding on what precautions must be taken to remove, reduce or avoid the hazards for example wearing the appropriate PPE might be a precaution. 4) Review the risks – the effectiveness of the precautions in place should be checked regularly to ensure that they are sufficient. 5) Report and record outcome – the findings of the risk assessment must be recorded and all those involved and who need to know should be given explanations and information on how these risks can be prevented and/or controlled.