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Nursing Essay On Hand Hygiene In Aged Care Facility

Question

Task:
Write a nursing essay exploring the concept of hand hygiene in aged care facilities hailed from Australia.

Answer

The major focus of this nursing essay is hand hygiene practice which is very vital to prevent infection. The best way to clean a hand is to wash the hand with a hand sanitizer or hand wash. In the current essay, I am going to address the beneficial approach of hand sanitization in the aged care facilities hailed from Australia. But continuous washing of the hand can lead to developing hand irritation. The use of non-sticky hand moisturizers will resolve skin irritations. Australian aged care facilities such as My Aged Care and other agencies provide care for older people who cannot and need continuous help to complete daily tasks. I worked as an operational head in an aged care facilities of Australia. I have experienced patients and aged people across Australia to seek better facilities. Old-aged people are very susceptible to infections. Thus practicing hand hygiene is important. The essay will be evaluating various important strategies and measurements to practice hand hygiene in an age care facility.

Aged care facilities are the care home for older people who cannot complete their daily tasks. I have understood that they need constant assistance—the Australian government funds various aged care facilities to provide senior citizens with proper care and maintenance. Clean hand helps to stop minimizing the transformation of the microorganism which cause dangerous diseases (Alshammari et al., 2018). The Aged care facility, where I worked also provides clinical care. I have seen that a young person can also be admitted to aged care facilities if they have dementia or any other disabilities. The Australian Aged care facilities provided personal care such as personal hygiene, grooming, and functional movement. The facilities conducted activities such as bathing, dressing, eating, and communications.

Maintaining hand hygiene in an aged care facility is important. The people living in the aged care facility are unable to do their regular job (Mbakaya et al., 2020). It the duty of the nurses, it is their duty to assist them in every aspect. Using hands is an inevitable part of this job. Thus, maintaining hand hygiene essential. The immunity system of the aged people is weak; thus, transferring viruses and bacteria through unclean hands has higher chances (Staats et al., 2017). I have seen in my aged care facility, people living in residential aged care facilities have a higher chance of getting infected. Infection control literacy among health care workers has a significant effect in lowering the spreading of infections.

The discussion in my current essay is aiming in understanding the importance of maintaining hand hygiene in aged care facilities and evaluating effective strategies to practice hand hygiene regularly.

The essay's objectives are the importance of maintaining hand hygiene, various methods and strategies to maintain hand hygiene in aged care facilities, Evaluation of hand hygiene practices in the aged care facilities, and Processes to improve existing hand hygiene practices.

The rationale is related to the primary issue of practicing hand hygiene: proper training and knowledge about hand hygiene among healthcare workers. Most of the infection occurs in the aged care facilities are the ignorance of washing hand before assisting elderly patients.

Various methods are used to prevent infection from occurring in the aged care facility. The most effective, cost-effective, and primary method is to maintaining proper hand hygiene practices. I am recommending washing hands for forty to sixty seconds to clear any germ. The health care worker does not follow the hand washing length (Ango et al., 2017). The whole hand surface area needs to be washed properly and with proper care. I have seen in my aged care facility that the nursing worker widely ignores the method. Twenty to thirty seconds of hand sanitizing is the basic procedure to maintain hand hygiene. A long-term plan needs to be implemented to educated the staff and nurses about the best practices for controlling infection by practicing hand hygiene (Tartari et al., 2019). I believe that it is vital to change the system. All of the rooms of the aged care facilities need to have hand sanitizers.

Staffs who are recommended to maintain hand hygiene are all nurses, including the head nurse and other caregivers. In my operational department, I have seen that the recourses needed to maintain hand hygiene are hand wash, hand sanitizer, wet hand wiper, disinfectant sprays. The project team includes head nurses and all other nurses. My old-age care facilities strictly followed the history of hand hygiene practice. The increased hand sanitizing before handling patients happened due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Hand hygiene plays an important role in determining aged persons' health status (Westbury et al., 2019). My facility maintains the sound practice of sanitation that helps in mitigating the risk of transmission of diseases. I can undoubtedly say that new mechanisms are required for directing and controlling the spread of diseases in the sphere of the Residential Aged Care Facility of Australia. Alongside that, it can inevitably say that the risk of diseases largely depends upon unhealthy practices. Hence, the implementation of suitable strategies is of sheer importance to promote the importance of hand hygiene and sanitation within the premises' vicinity. Germs present in hand are highly infectious as those germs get easily spread from one person to another and inculcate several deadly diseases(Bennett et al., 2019). Thus, the Australian Aged Care Facility needs to incorporate effective and efficient hand hygiene practices to train the residents' aged ones.

One of the most important policy implications in the Australian Aged Care facility's sphere includes accredited and suitable standards of policy for the aged ones (Chen et al., 2019). Incorporating efficient and effective policies and procedures will enable the entire management to take care of all individuals of the premise. On the other hand, in the year 2017, the Residential Aged Care Facility of Australia ensured the incorporation of effective professionals that dealt with promoting hand hygiene and its importance in maintaining the balance of good health. It also ensured the conduction of effective and efficient surveys regarding the program. The survey majorly reflected a scenario deployed by ten medical practitioners per facility available to that particular organization's age-old residents.

Consequently, they created an executive team for measuring and noticing the rate of healthy practice among aged residents. The entire process was supported by a round of vaccination that ensures the old persons' immunity boost. Thus, it can undoubtedly say that the implementation of the mentioned policies and procedures ensured the residents' sound health.

The spread of deadly diseases can be controlled in e effective if the taken initiatives are carried out efficiently and perfectly. It is evident that misguide in the entire procedure might inculcate an adverse effect for the aged ones. On the other hand, I think that the synthesizing knowledge of infection control requires medical experts' guidance for formulating the entire process smoothly and void of risks and obligations(Dyer et al., 2018). Hence, they should follow the initiative properly to maintain a good balance of health and control the spread of deadly diseases.

The Australian Aged Care Facility Services have been observed to prioritize the top three elements, namely care, comfort, and safety (Westaway et al., 2020). Similarly, the entire management has been observed to initiate certain measurements that ensured a cost-effective approach for the aged ones' treatments. In prioritizing aged ones' health as topmost, the management had launched a vaccination program that ensured proper control of infectious diseases. On the other hand, the organization's aged members were given training regarding hand sanitizers. They were also taught the importance of using hand sanitizers and promoting good health habits(Harrison et al., 2020). Undoubtedly, the Residential Aged Care Facilities in Australia are funded by the Government of Australia. Hence, the Government of Australia was capable enough to follow a cost-efficient and effective procedure for controlling the spread of infectious diseases. Thus, it mainly aimed at ensuring a safe and healthy life for the aged ones of the residents.

Quality Improvement in nursing 1

Figure: Quality Improvement Indicators (Bennett et al., 2019)

To ensure that hand hygiene is followed inside the premise effectively and efficiently, the below-mentioned recommendations will play a beneficial role in chasing the entire health care service of the organization. My aged care facility pay heed in conducting suitable training for all the staff members and the aged ones of the organizations. Alongside assurance of conduction of a couple of quality, indicators would help follow the proper note policies. The organization should conduct various anti-infection surveys for the aged ones to resist the spread of deadly diseases. Consequently, the organization should aim to organize a suitable vaccination policy that would boost the immunity of the aged ones and help lead a safe and healthy life. The vaccination should incorporate for both the staff members and aged ones. The organization should deploy sound endeavours in giving proper medical treatments to the senior and elderly ones of the entire old-aged family.

The mentioned recommendations consist of several vaccination uptakes that are necessary for aged persons. On the other hand, it is meant for both the staff and the aged ones. Hence, the person responsible for facilitating the entire process should conduct the entire medication process by a proper consultation of a doctor. I think that doing these would help mitigate health-related problems and formulate the healthy practice of maintaining proper health hygiene.

The strategies that should include hand hygiene improvement in aged care facilities are visual reminders, integrating video surveillance, and implementing a high-tech hand scanner. Commonly, health care workers are very busy to assists older people in aged care facilities. They can easily forget when the last time they washed or sanitized their hand. Thus using a visual reminder will be very effective. Studies show that using bacterial images provokes disgust in the healthcare worker and influences them to maintain hand hygiene (Azor-Martinez et al., 2018). Educational posters, motivate challenges with in-house visuals, is a very good strategy to improve hand hygiene.

Launching video surveillance in every room of the aged care facility will be less costly than treating infections. Modern technology needs to be integrated into evaluating the effectiveness of visual reminders. The video surveillance system is a very powerful strategy that forces health workers to obey hand hygiene protocols. A high-tech hand scanner is another successful strategy according to me in improving hand hygiene practices in aged care facilities. It provides objectives on practicing hand washing procedures

Stakeholders of aged care facilities provide funds to control and prevent infections in the facility. Stakeholders are the primary and representative bodies of the aged care facilities. The Department of social services is responsible for improving hand hygiene in aged care facilities. The social services' role is to promote the organization's environment to adopt hand hygiene protocol as a daily habit to prevent infections. The health department of the aged care facilities also engaged in improving hand hygiene practice. The health department strictly follows the rule of washing sanitizing hands before operating any individual healthcare facility.

They are engaged to maintain the system and procedure to prevent infections. Australian aged Care Quality Agencies are engaged in monitoring all the aged care facilities with in-depth details about the hand hygiene practices. The agencies are also involving in controlling diseases. I have seen that the other stakeholder of the aged care facility is the Aged Care Financing Authority. They have an important role in improving hand hygiene practice. They provide funds to the various aged care facilities across Australia to implement hand hygiene strategies and new technologies to prevent infection.

Health care worker's hand hygiene has significance in preventing healthcare-associated infections. It also prevents the transmission of various antimicrobial resistance (Yen et al., 2020). Hand hygiene Australia provides various resources and services to increase hand hygiene programs. It is vital to educate the health care worker about the consequences of having poor hand hygiene practice (Oppong et al., 2019). I think that the hand hygiene practice's basic components are to provide alcohol-based hand rub to every aged care facility. Various studies prove that hand hygiene interventions have an immense amount of effectiveness in preventing infections.

I believe implementing hand hygiene strategies for intervention can prevent respiratory as well as gastrointestinal infections. Poor hand hygiene will likely contribute to the spreading of multi-resistance gram-negative bacteria(Yang et al., 2019). Major of the residence that lives in the aged care facilities are highly active. It is very challenging to control and prevent infections in such an environment.

There are multiple communication barriers and obstacles present in the aged care facilities to improve hand hygiene practices. Health care workers should include in developing a specialist consultation process. The health care workers' stressful work forces them to ignore washing or to sanitize their hands (Mbakaya et al., 2017). They need to be reminded by a hand hygiene coach about washing or cleaning their hands each time they assist an individual. I think the lack of instruments present in aged care facilities is an obstacle in improving hand hygiene practices (Barlean et al., 2018). The lack of training and education about hand hygiene practice also acts as barriers or communicational obstacles for developing a proper environment for good hand hygiene practice.

Strategies that will improve hand hygiene are visual reminders, integrating video surveillance, and implementing a high-tech hand scanner. I have identified that there are a few limitations and measurements present in the strategies. A health care worker has huge chances to ignore or carefree attitude towards the visual reminder. The measurement of the strategy method to be successful is very less (Salem, 2019). The second video surveillance strategy has a huge potentiality to be successful in promoting good hand hygiene practice. It will help the higher authority in the aged care facility analyze the quality of the services that the health care worker provides to elderly individuals.

The video surveillance triggers the consciousness among the health care worker to follow all the hand hygiene protocol and environmental cleanliness to minimize infections. I believe that the video surveillance strategy will be very effective in case of promoting good hand hygiene practice awareness. The third strategy is the high-tech hand scanner. It helps in scanning the germs present in the hands of the health care workers. The high-tech hand scanner will help the worker and the aged care facilities authority about the effectiveness of the hand-sanitizers (Rios et al., 2020). It also provides detailed information about the procedures to clean the hand before assisting elderly patients.

The high-tech hand scanner helps all the aged care facility staff have washed their hand within a few seconds. It will help them to save time from their work hours. The hand scanner strategical method is very effective if maintained properly. The scanner provides immediate quality assurance about handwashing techniques. I have seen that the scanner helps in detecting germs, viruses, and bacteria even after in freshly washed hands. The machine will help my aged care facility to track the healthcare workers' daily activities because it records each data when used by an individual. It also provides statistics and proper reporting about hand hygiene practice. The high-tech hand scanner strategic method will be very effective.

The discussion aims to develop good hand hygiene practices in the aged care facility in Australia. My main goal is to minimizes and prevent the infection from spreading in the resident of the aged care facilities. Evaluation is important to make a successful implementation of the project aim. The implementation of strategy will help to understand the success rate of my project. The project's aim will be successful if the funding of the aged care facilities is done properly. The strategies have a huge potentiality to improve the aim of the project.

Monitoring stakeholders' activity, resource availability, and proper communication process will help provide in-depth knowledge about the project succession rate. Resources such as alcohol-based sanitizers, hand wash, high tech hand scanner, and video surveillance cameras are the strategies' main components. I guess that the shortage of resources can act as a barrier to project succession. I believe that the stakeholder involvement is crucial in the process of driving the project toward the success rate. They are the primary figure in providing funding to the aged care facilities to implement strategies. The aim and objective of my project will be successful if the communication process is done adequately. Study shows that effective communication has a significant role in project succession. It increases the project flexibility and implementation process.

In my current discussion, the identified objectives are the importance of maintaining hand hygiene, various methods and strategies to maintain hand hygiene in aged care facilities, Evaluation of hand hygiene practices in the aged care facilities, Processes to improve existing hand hygiene practices in an aged care facility in Australia. The evaluation is conducted to observe various policies and procedures to improve the hand hygiene process.

Hand hygiene practice is the most potential path to reduce the spreading of germs and pathogens. It is normal to guess that health care workers have an in-depth idea of maintaining hand hygiene practices. The assumption is wrong, according to the finding. I believe that the health care workers are more prone to increase knowledge in other tasks than good hand hygiene practice. The increasing rate of infections in Australia's aged care facilities is due to the poor hand hygiene practice of the health care workers. My current essay has provided detailed knowledge about various effective strategies to integrate good hand hygiene practices.

The health care worker of the aged care facilities is continuously working to assist elderly residents in completing their daily tasks, and communicating with them increases the mental health state. Understandably, I can see that the health care worker might forget to wash their hand before assisting a patient. The strategy will help them to overcome such problems. I believe that visual reminders, a high-tech hand scanner, and an in-house hand hygiene couch will help them follow the hand hygiene protocol to decrease germs' spreading. The strategies that are mentioned in the discussions represented effectiveness in the area of hand hygiene practice.

Few factors are also mentioned in the discussion that needs more detailed investigation in the future. Increasing skin irritation using alcohol-based hand sanitizer or high levels of base integrated hand wash is a matter of concern. I concern in the lack of proper guidelines for hand hygiene practice and lack of recognition of hand hygiene practice are the reason behind the rapid growth of infections in Australia's aged care facilities. Developing infections due to poor hand hygiene are the key factors that develop morbidity and mortality rate among the aged care facilities. “World health organisation” introduced “my five moments for hand washing”. The methods are significantly important for all people around the world. The discussion develops the idea that the practice of hand hygiene in my aged care facility is still very low. High workload, shortage of time, lack of running water, forgetfulness and non-availability of the proper alcohol based hand washed are the primary reason for the poor hand hygiene practice in my aged cared facility.

References
Alshammari, M., Reynolds, K. A., Verhougstraete, M., & O’Rourke, M. K. (2018). Comparison of perceived and observed hand hygiene compliance in healthcare workers in MERS-CoV endemic regions. Healthcare, 6(4), 122.

Ango, U. M., Awosan, K. J., Adamu, H., Salawu, S., Sani, M. M., & Ibrahim, A. H. (2017). Knowledge, attitude and practice of hand hygiene among healthcare providers in semi-urban communities of Sokoto State, Nigeria. Int J Trop Dis Health, 26(2), 1–9.

Azor-Martinez, E., Yui-Hifume, R., Muñoz-Vico, F. J., Jimenez-Noguera, E., Strizzi, J. M., Martinez-Martinez, I., Garcia-Fernandez, L., Seijas-Vazquez, M. L., Torres-Alegre, P., & Fernández-Campos, M. A. (2018). Effectiveness of a hand hygiene program at child care centers: a cluster randomized trial. Pediatrics, 142(5), 1–12.

Barlean, M. C., Balcos, C., Bobu, L., Scutariu, M. M., & Popescu, E. (2018). Dentists’ compliance to hands hygiene as method of health care associated infections prevention. Romanian Journal of Oral Rehabilitation, 10(1), 57–63.

Bennett, N. J., Bradford, J. M., Bull, A. L., & Worth, L. J. (2019). Infection prevention quality indicators in aged care: ready for a national approach. Australian Health Review, 43(4), 396–398.

Chen, E. Y. H., Wang, K. N., Sluggett, J. K., Ilomäki, J., Hilmer, S. N., Corlis, M., & Bell, J. S. (2019). Process, impact and outcomes of medication review in Australian residential aged care facilities: A systematic review. Australasian Journal on Ageing, 38, 9–25.

Dyer, S. M., Gnanamanickam, E. S., Liu, E., Whitehead, C., & Crotty, M. (2018). Diagnosis of dementia in residential aged care settings in Australia: An opportunity for improvements in quality of care? Australasian Journal on Ageing, 37(4), E155–E158.

Harrison, S. L., Sluggett, J. K., Lang, C., Whitehead, C., Crotty, M., Corlis, M., Wesselingh, S. L., & Inacio, M. C. (2020). The dispensing of psychotropic medicines to older people before and after they enter residential aged care. Medical Journal of Australia, 212(7), 309–313.

Mbakaya, B. C., Kalembo, F. W., & Zgambo, M. (2020). Use, adoption, and effectiveness of tippy-tap handwashing station in promoting hand hygiene practices in resource-limited settings: a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 20, 1–25.

Mbakaya, B. C., Lee, P. H., & Lee, R. L. T. (2017). Hand hygiene intervention strategies to reduce diarrhoea and respiratory infections among schoolchildren in developing countries: a systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 14(4), 371.

Oppong, T. B., Yang, H., Amponsem-Boateng, C., & Duan, G. (2019). Hand hygiene habits of Ghanaian youths in Accra. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 16(11), 1964.

Rios, P., Radhakrishnan, A., Thomas, S. M., Darvesh, N., Straus, S. E., & Tricco, A. C. (2020). Guidelines for preventing respiratory illness in older adults aged 60 years and above living in long-term care: A rapid review of clinical practice guidelines. MedRxiv, 1–270.

Salem, O. A. (2019). Knowledge and practices of nurses in infection prevention and control within a tertiary care hospital. Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research, 1–4.

Staats, B. R., Dai, H., Hofmann, D., & Milkman, K. L. (2017). Motivating process compliance through individual electronic monitoring: An empirical examination of hand hygiene in healthcare. Management Science, 63(5), 1563–1585.

Tartari, E., Muthukumaran, P., Peters, A., Allegranzi, B., & Pittet, D. (2019). Monitoring your institution: the WHO hand hygiene self-assessment framework—is it worth it? Clinical Microbiology and Infection, 25(8), 925–928.

Westaway, K., Sluggett, J., Alderman, C., Moffat, A., Procter, N., & Roughead, E. (2020). The extent of antipsychotic use in Australian residential aged care facilities and interventions shown to be effective in reducing antipsychotic use: A literature review. Dementia, 19(4), 1189–1202.

Westbury, J., Gee, P., Ling, T., Kitsos, A., & Peterson, G. (2019). More action needed: Psychotropic prescribing in Australian residential aged care. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 53(2), 136–147.

Yang, J., Park, E.-C., Lee, S. A., & Lee, S. G. (2019). Associations between hand hygiene education and self-reported hand-washing behaviors among Korean adults during MERS-CoV outbreak. Health Education & Behavior, 46(1), 157–164.

Yen, M.-Y., Schwartz, J., King, C.-C., Lee, C.-M., & Hsueh, P.-R. (2020). Recommendation on protection from and mitigation of COVID-19 pandemic in long-term care facilities. Journal of Microbiology, Immunology and Infection, 1–7.

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