Communicable Contagion Case Study

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A major global issue that has arisen amongst nursing practice and health care is the risk of exposure to communicable contagions for health care professionals. This issue is of concern because contracting a communicable contagion can cause serious health complications consequences for health care professionals resulting in illness or death. Also, potential transmission of contagions to health care professionals may decrease the quality of care provided to patients. The aspects of the issue being analyzed include the consequences of exposure to communicable contagions for health care professionals, non-compliance with standard precautions among health care professionals, and barriers to standard care for infected patients due to health care …show more content…
These aspects are important because we need to maintain optimal health for health care providers so that they are able to fulfill their duties and provide adequate patient care. It is also important to reinforce compliance with precautions to prevent outbreak. According to Efstathiou et al. (2011), noncompliance with standard precautions was related to “lack of knowledge, lack of time, forgetfulness, lack of means, negative influence of the equipment on nursing skills, uncomfortable equipment, skin irritation, lack of training, conflict between the need to provide care and self-protection, and distance to necessary equipment or facility”(p.2). Also, nurses must not allow the fear of transmission of contagions to replace knowledge. This leads to a distorted view of what must be done to protect themselves rather than providing patient care. Efstathiou et al. (2011) proclaim that nurses acknowledge that they work in an unhealthy environment in which they care for patients with contagious diseases. They also worry about the fact that they may transmit a health care acquired infection to a member of their family …show more content…
In order to address this major global issue, health care settings must establish strict standard precautions and isolation precautions when providing direct patient care. According to Weber et al. (2010), protection starts with the standard precautions of hand hygiene and use of personal protective equipment including gloves, gowns, surgical masks, N95 respirators and eye shields; thus, standard care is based on the assumption that every person is potentially infected with an organism that could be transmitted in the healthcare setting (p.1). Preventative measures including pre-exposure immunization and personal protective equipment must be stressed as extremely important; however, post-exposure prophylaxis is provided depending on the disease by an antimicrobial, vaccine, or immunoglobulin preparation (Weber et al., 2010, p.1). Continual education for health care professionals on the potential risks of exposure to communicable contagions, the importance of compliance to safe work practices, preventative pre-exposure and post-exposure prophylaxis, and their responsibilities for creating a safe workplace is crucial (Workers Compensation Board, 2009, p.15). Health care professionals should always report incidents of exposure and must be informed of exposure control plans (Workers Compensation Board, 2009,

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