Preventive Measure of Nosocomial Infections
Incidences of nosocomial infections have been increasing in the ICU due to poor maintenance of hygiene in the use of medical devices such as syringes, catheters, and ventilators. Nosocomial infections in the ICU have a negative impact on the clinical interventions and nursing care that patients receive (Scales, 2011). Given that ensure that patients receive appropriate therapies and health care, the presence of nosocomial infections complicates the health conditions of the patients and consequently treatment requirements. Additionally, nosocomial infections increase the length of stay and the cost of medical care. According to Safdar and Abda (2008), approximately 2 million patients each year in the United States acquire nosocomial infections, resulting in some 90,000 deaths and adding an estimated $4.5 to $5.7 billion per year to the costs of patient care (p. 933). Hence, there is a need to educate critical care nurses on how to maintain hygiene when using medical devices that increase the risk of nosocomial infections.
The deficit in the application of that are in tandem with current preventive measures is an issue that the hospital needs to address. As a baseline preventive measure, the critical care nurses in the hospital employ conventional practices such as hand hygiene, cleansing of catheter sites, and sterilization of the medical devices. Despite using these conventional interventions in the prevention and control of nosocomial infections, the incidence rates of the infections continue to remain high. In a study, Ding et al. (2009) find out that the rate of nosocomial infections in the ICU ranges from 22% to 32% depending on the clinical practices and nursing care that patients receive. Such figures are very high because they imply that about a third of patients in the ICU are at risk of losing their lives due to nosocomial infections. The increase in the incidences of nosocomial infections is attributable to the deprived hygienic conditions of the ICU, poor maintenance of catheters and ventilators, improper use of antiseptics, and lack of antiseptic-impregnated catheters (Kathleen et al., 2011). Thus, the hospital needs to upgrade preventive and control measures of nosocomial infections in the ICU.
The education of critical care nurses is an appropriate intervention for reducing incidence rates of nosocomial infections in the ICU. The rationale for using education as a proposed solution is that it facilitates the adoption and utilization of evidence-based practices (Chittick & Sherertz, 2010). Evidence-based practices are effective in the prevention and control of nosocomial infections in the ICU because they forestall medical errors due to the use of opinions and assumptions, which are quite misleading (Milstone, Passaretti, & Perl, 2008). Lack of evidence-based interventions in the prevention of nosocomial infections compels critical care nurses to employ outdated interventions, which are not only effective, but also increase morbidity and mortality rates associated with the nosocomial infections (Wilson, Wilde, Webb, Thompson, Harwood, Callan, & Gray, 2009). The education enables critical care nurses to update their knowledge and skills about current interventions for preventing nosocomial infections in the ICU. According to Mermel (2011), educational interventions have a significant impact on reducing the rates of nosocomial infections in the ICU. Hence, educational intervention supports the adoption and the use of evidence-based interventions in the prevention and control of nosocomial infections in the ICU.
The implementation plan of the educational program that aims at equipping critical care nurses with essential knowledge and skills derived from of weekly seminars. As part of stakeholders, critical care nurses will be responsible for the implementation of the educational program. Critical care nurses will attend weekly seminars where they will receive updated preventive measures of nosocomial infections in the ICU. The educational program expects critical care nurses to apply the knowledge that will be gained during each seminar in preventing nosocomial infections. Since the nurse manager is in charge of the ICU, the manager will be responsible for initiating the educational program and overseeing the implementation of during the seminar. Halm (2010) argues that the implementation of evidence-based practices requires leadership and administrative support. Thus, a managerial role is necessary for the implementation of the educational program. The seminar will ensure that critical care nurses gain preventive measures of nosocomial infections that are in tandem with .
The use of surveys is one of the methods of evaluating the effectiveness of the educational program in reducing incidences of nosocomial infections and improving the quality of care in the ICU. The variables that the evaluation plan seeks to assess are knowledge, skills, and perceptions of critical care nurses, perceptions of patients, the prevalence of nosocomial infections, and the cost of treating nosocomial infections. The survey helps in gathering information regarding the perceptions of nurses about the implementation of the educational program and its impact on their knowledge and skills. Majid, Foo, and Mokhtar (2011) argue that perceptions, skills, and knowledge of nurses determine the effectiveness of adoption and utilization of evidence-based practices. The evaluation plan also surveys the perceptions of the ICU patients concerning the quality of care that they receive. In this view, a survey of nurses and patients before and after implementation of the educational program is necessary. Moreover, analysis of records, before and after implementation of the educational program, which shows the prevalence of nosocomial infections and cost associated with their treatment, is important in evaluating the effectiveness of the program in reducing nosocomial infections.
The dissemination of the evaluation findings regarding the outcomes of the educational program focuses on aspects of the outcomes such as knowledge, skills, and perceptions of nurses, perception of patients, the prevalence of nosocomial infections, and the cost of treating nosocomial infections. Since the educational program aims at improving the competence of critical care nurses, dissemination of their knowledge, skills, and perceptions regarding the prevention of nosocomial infections is important in highlighting the impact of the educational program (Vandijck, Labeau, Vogelaers, & Blot, 2010). The perception of patients is critical information that requires dissemination. Satisfaction of patients normally signifies the nature of care and competence of nurses in the delivery of nursing care (Zavare, 2010). Thus, dissemination of patients perceptions is necessary so that nurses can understand how to deliver effective nursing care that meets the demands and expectations of patients. Given that the educational program aims at reducing the prevalence of nosocomial infections and consequently treatment of patients in the ICU, dissemination of the information regarding the extent of reduction in the prevalence of nosocomial infections and treatment cost is invaluable.
Barsanti, M., & Woeltje, K. (2009). Infection prevention in the intensive care unit. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America, 23(3), 703-725.
The article emphasizes the impact of nosocomial infections on the economic, social, and psychological aspects of patients and families. Thus, to prevent the occurrence of nosocomial infections in the ICU, the article recommends minimization of risk factors, continual education of healthcare providers, and adoption of evidence-based practices.