Cleanliness and hygiene play a vital role in the safety of patients, healthcare professionals, other staff and the patient’s family. Hygiene and cleanliness are important in homes and workplaces, but they are even more important in hospitals and clinics. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene will not only ensure patients’ safety from any other diseases but will also prevent further infection spread.
Nurses are vital in maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in healthcare settings. They understand that hospital hygiene impacts patient satisfaction and adds service value. It is not just a routine activity for hospitals and clinics but a mandatory one to ensure their smooth running and functioning.
The importance of hygiene and cleanliness in hospitals and clinics
Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene in hospitals and clinics differs greatly from conventional cleaning practices. Healthcare facilities must maintain the highest cleanliness levels to ensure that no microorganism growth can spread among patients and staff. A clean and hygienic hospital or clinic will also help avoid cross-contamination from one patient to another. It will help prevent healthcare-associated infection spread, which can potentially cause significant problems.
A clean and hygienic environment in hospitals and clinics will ensure patient safety. If the hospital is cluttered or dirty, it can increase the chances of injuries, falls or any other adverse event. A clean and well-organized environment will prevent any accidents and promote patient health and wellbeing.
A clean and hygienic healthcare setting is required by patients when they receive healthcare services. If the area is unkept, unclean or unhygienic, it will negatively impact patient satisfaction and perception of care quality. By ensuring clean and hygienic conditions, healthcare facilities can significantly improve patient satisfaction and promote positive patient outcomes.
While maintaining cleanliness and hygiene is safer for everyone, it is also a requirement from the regulatory authorities. Failure to meet these requirements can lead to penalties, legal liability and damage to reputation.
The role of nursing professionals in maintaining hygiene and cleanliness
Nurses play a significant role in maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in hospitals and clinics. To learn the best practices and their role in maintaining cleanliness in healthcare settings, nurses can choose to continue learning. The University of Indianapolis offers a BSN-DNP Family Nurse Practitioner program that will allow nurses to build the essential skills required to positively impact healthcare and help improve patient outcomes through advanced nursing practices. The part-time online format is ideal for working nurses. The course prepares them for a role as a primary care provider and health systems leader.
Nurses are responsible for educating patients and their families about the importance of cleanliness and hygiene. They must explain the requirement of following hygienic practices such as hand hygiene, using personal protective equipment (PPE), and other infection prevention and control measures.
While educating the patients, nurses are also responsible for adhering to the set infection prevention and control guidelines. Nurses must monitor their patients for any signs or symptoms of infection and report any suspected cases to the relevant authorities.
They must also use PPE, such as gloves, gowns and masks, while caring for patients with infectious diseases or when dealing with patients’ bodily fluids. Proper use of PPE will ensure that there is no cross-contamination or transmission of pathogens, thereby protecting healthcare professionals.
Nurses must carefully handle and dispose of used PPE and contaminated materials, such as medical waste, used syringes and needles. They must dispose of these in accordance with the regulatory requirements, as improper handling and disposal can pose a risk to patients and healthcare professionals.
Challenges in maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in healthcare settings
While maintaining hygiene and cleanliness is of the utmost importance in healthcare settings, it can be challenging because of several factors, such as staff shortages, lack of resources, resistance to change and non-compliance with guidelines. Every hospital and clinic must work to address these issues to ensure the highest standards of patient safety and effective care.
Maintaining hygiene and cleanliness in hospitals and clinics is essential for providing safe and effective patient care. Healthcare-associated infections, cross-contamination, patient safety, patient satisfaction and regulatory compliance are all impacted by the level of hygiene and cleanliness in healthcare settings.
Nurses play a critical role in maintaining hygiene and cleanliness through patient education, adherence to infection prevention and control guidelines, proper use of PPE, handling and disposal of contaminated materials, and monitoring and reporting of HAIs. However, hospitals and clinics face certain challenges in regard to ensuring a clean and hygienic environment. Healthcare facilities must work on overcoming these challenges to ensure that patients receive the highest quality of care possible.