Nursing considerations

Isolation should be done properly or not at all, and procedures should apply to all persons entering the room, including relatives and medical, paramedical, and nursing staff. Convenience is not a reason for isolation, and the psychological effects on the patient must also be considered. Knowledge of the epidemiology of a particular pathogen may allow some flexibility in management. The reason for isolation must be explained to the patient's relatives and, where possible, to the patient. A record of the need for isolation should be in the patient's nursing record. The infection control team must be informed and can assist with education if required.

The most important route of transmission is contact. The need for meticulous attention to handwashing cannot be overemphasized. Respiratory transmission is generally less of a problem, unless the attendant is susceptible to the infection (e.g. chickenpox or measles). Vaccination of staff against readily transmissible organisms is essential, and a record of vaccinations and previously acquired immunity should be kept and updated.

Laminated instructions, stating the main points of the isolation, should be displayed on the entry door. Examples are shown in Fig 1 and Fig 2.

IHC1L A1IÇ1M

IHC1L A1IÇ1M

■ JJt^r-^j Id■ ..--1 ri| r .1 u.ir.\i 1.1 qfa 1 — 1.J

Pu- un'! j/1-n.B-n-j-ia uadir nr ■ ■ ■ in V fWj ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ u r-i-j-.. .-u

■ JJt^r-^j Id■ ..--1 ri| r .1 u.ir.\i 1.1 qfa 1 — 1.J

Pu- un'! j/1-n.B-n-j-ia uadir nr ■ ■ ■ in V fWj ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ u r-i-j-.. .-u

Fig. 1 Door card for source isolation. NB This poster should be on a yellow background, indicating infection.

Fig. 2 Door card for protective isolation. NB This poster should be on a white background, indicating infection free.

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