Becoming Influential Term Paper

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Hygiene in Medical Settings

My message will be on hand hygiene for everyone that comes to the hospital.

Hand hygiene for hospital guests is just as important as it is for hospital personnel. Everyday interactions and activities can lead to exposure to a variety of bacteria that can create illness. In a hospital setting, this means that guests with good intentions towards loved ones can inadvertently make an illness worse or introduce new germs into clinically sanitized environments. Bacteria and other illness causing agents are often picked up from external environments and surfaces and then transported through body parts such as the nose, throat, skin, and hair. Because the hands are one of the most active parts of the body, we also carry germs between our fingers and underneath fingernails. Therefore, it becomes important that everyone wash their hands properly and frequently to decrease the transmission of bacteria and other harmful agents.

How did you select the issue, quality, concern or characteristic about the profession of nursing that you wanted the public to know more about?

My selection of this issue is based on statistical information. Two million people each year become ill as a result of a hospital-acquired, nosocomial infection resulting in more than 90,000 patient deaths and $4.5 billion in additional medical expenses each year (Smith, 2009). Proper hand hygiene is critical to the prevention of these infections. The Center for Disease Control indicates that hand-washing can eliminate more than 50% of illness cases. Yet, only average hand-washing rates are only at about 40% (Kuo, 2001). Thus, it is the mission of every mission and care facility to advance the quality of patient care and reduce infection by improving hand hygiene practices in healthcare settings.

Who is the most appropriate target for your message? What is the theme of your message? Why do you think this message is important? What do you hope to accomplish by sharing your message?

Crafting the proper message for guests and families of surgery patients can go a long way to stress the importance of hand hygiene that helps prevent infection spread in hospital settings. This can be an emotional appeal to help encourage compliance. Most are there to support their loved ones in their surgery procedures and recovery. Perhaps they do not understand the role that hand washing can play in ensuring a speedy, uncomplicated recovery for the patient. They should be armed with the correct information.

Simplistic, accurate information can help emphasize the risks and poor patients outcomes associated with visitor introduced bacteria. Some people may be deterred from washing their hands because of distractions due to grief or sadness associated with a patient's issues, time constraints, lack of knowledge, unfamiliarity with hospital guidelines, or mere forgetfulness (Smith, 2009). The overall goal of my selected message would be to decrease perceived barriers to hand hygiene. This include adequate information about proper hand washing technique and also available alternatives when soap and water hand washing is not an option such as the use of alcohol-based hand rubs, although this should never substitute for hand washing when hands are visibly soiled (Kuo, 2011).

Sample Messaging

Did You Know Clean Hands Save Lives?

Human hands can carry millions of germs at any given time, including bacteria and flu viruses. This is true for both adults and children. Many patients become ill from exposure to outside germs from well-meaning visitors. Surgery, in particular, means patients can be at greater risk for contracting an outside illness.

By washing your hands with soap and water during your time here in the facility and before going in to see the patient, you can help stop the spread of germs. Your attention to this helps to keep everyone healthy and safe.

Proper technique:

Although washing ones' hands seems easy, there is a proper way to ensure best results.

1. Wet hands first with warm (not hot) water.

2. Using soap, lather hands and forearms.

3. Wash hands and arms thoroughly for 20 seconds. Give extra attention to fingernails and spaces between fingers.

4. Rinse thoroughly under running water.

5. Dry thoroughly using a clean paper towel or hand dryer. Turn off water faucet.

6. Repeat process as needed, particularly after restroom breaks. Help children wash their hands also.…[continue]

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