A holistic approach to hygiene takes physical health and the quality of life of the patient and nursing staff into consideration.
Personal hygiene is a crucial factor in improving health. In our opinion, good personal hygiene requires an all-around approach to hygiene with the whole body in focus. By doing so, the risk of infections can be reduced. This is good news for patients and elderly at hospitals and nursing homes, who are often particularly responsive to bacteria because of their weakened immune systems.
However, good personal hygiene is not only a matter of infection prevention in the health care system – it is also a matter of creating a feeling of well-being among patients and nursing staff.
Download whitepaper: Personal hygiene in the health care sector
Antimicrobial resistance has been a growing challenge in health care systems worldwide. While it is a natural process that bacteria constantly evolves to be more resistant toward dangers, the number of resistant bacteria have increased notably over the past ten years, probably due to the increasingly use of penicillin and antibiotics. As a result, an estimated 700,000 people die each year worldwide because of bacterial infections. Scientists estimate that by 2050, the number of deaths caused by bacterial infections will be higher than the number of deaths among cancer patients.
An all-round approach to hygiene is all about considering the whole body in your hygiene practice – but how to actually make it work? Start by taking these three steps into consideration:
Bacteria can be found all over the body. Your hands are in daily contact with many different surfaces which may contain bacteria. Hereby, your hands are important to keep in focus, when it comes to personal hygiene. The contact between your hands and surfaces may cause cross-contamination with bacteria, which can be further transferred to patients, your colleagues and further surroundings. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to how you clean and/or disinfect your hands in your daily routine.
Cleaning and/or disinfecting your hands should always be done when necessary, meaning every time your hands get into contact with a contaminating factor. Though, it can be difficult to estimate when that is the case. A few rules of thumb are to always wash and/or disinfect your hands:
Remember not only to focus on your hand hygiene.
Besides your hands, areas with most bacteria on the human body are the anus, groin, feet and armpits.
Learn more about personal hygiene in our whitepaper: Personal hygiene in the health care sector
One thing in taking a holistic approach to personal hygiene is the procedure in doing so. Another thing is to choose the right remedies, which can be helpful in your work towards practicing good hygiene, both for your patients and for you.
Gloves are your best friend
Gloves are one of the most used remedies in health care systems worldwide. By using gloves, you create a barrier between your patient and your skin, helping you avoid cross-contamination between you, your patient and your surroundings. Gloves for medical use come in many different materials, all of which have their own unique features. Do you know, when to use gloves made of nitrile, latex or vinyl? And are you up to date about, what parameters to take into consideration in making that choice?
Read more about our range of gloves and how to choose the right one.
Nurse your bed-bound patients with Wash-without-water
Frequently, patients at hospitals and in nursing homes face challenges about moving around, often caused by illness or old age. Reduced mobility among patients makes bigger demands to the healthcare worker, because some of the daily nursing routines become more challenging, e.g. when it comes to maintaining the personal hygiene of the patient. That is so, because bed-bound patients can be difficult to wash in a shower in a usual way.
To accommodate this challenge, it is possible to choose a wash-without-water product, which facilitate bed baths. Wash-without-water is a series of disposal products, which is easily used for body wash and intimate hygiene of the patient. A washing routine without water would seem like an unpleasant experience for the patient. But actually, the product and the quality of the bed bath is highly ranked among patients and nursing staff.
Learn more about Abena’s range of wash-without-water products and how to use them
When it comes to hygiene, the primary focus is often set on keeping your body clean. But no matter how well you practice hand and body hygiene, it can be difficult to maintain the clean results if your surroundings do not match your personal hygiene standards.
Keeping your surroundings clean is essential. In addition to regular cleaning, waste management is an essential part of obtaining this goal. In the health care sector, you get exposed to a lot of different types of waste – and potentially a lot of bacteria. it is important always to analyze our waste and dispose of it in the correct way, especially when it comes to sharp objects and medicine.
Many types of waste from the health care sector can be treated as part of the normal waste system. However, it is important that this kind of waste is treated and disposed responsibly to prevent other people handling the waste from getting infected. To handle waste safely, we recommend: