Defining Infection Control Measures In Australia
Infection control is the medical term used to describe the methods we use to prevent the spread of germs, pathogens, viruses, and any unwanted contaminants from an area, site, place, or situation. In practising infection control, we minimise the risk of exposure and contamination, making life less perilous.
Using set strategies and guidelines means that everyone can follow the same plan and get the same result. We practice infection control by washing hands before eating and after visiting the bathroom in everyday life. We teach our children to sneeze and cough into their elbows to reduce the chance of their germs spreading to other children within the spray zone or via touch when they interact.
Types Of Infection Control In The Workplace
Different vocations have different requirements and equipment specific to the workplace. PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is particular to your job type and the work environment. Road workers will have different PPE to nurses, firefighters, and hairdressers, and the cosmetic industry will have different procedures again.
The general level of infection control that everyone should undertake from child to adult is that of personal hygiene.
You seek to reduce the potential hazards and exposure to the risk of contamination or passing on any unwanted pathogens you may have to others. COVID-19 is the perfect example in 2022. The risks are said to be reduced by wearing a mask and keeping a safe distance between people. The guidelines are intended to reduce the chance of inhaling airborne pathogens from sneezing and coughing, directly contacting the body and contaminating items the virus can live on until transferred to another host in which it can reproduce.
You are practising effective infection prevention and control by using the handwashing technique and limiting your exposure to infected people. Healthcare workers in a healthcare setting have extra safety and quality measures. Healthcare-associated infections can have dire consequences if protocols are not strictly followed.
First Aid Basic Infection Control
- Wash hands with soap and water or apply an alcohol-based hand rub
- Use and wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): disposable gloves for all first aid, masks for CPR, eye protection and plastic aprons to protect from fluids splashing.
- Remove PPE carefully. Dispose of PPE, used dressings, bandages and infectious waste in an appropriate bin or container.
- Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water
General Infection Control
- Wash your hands regularly, before eating, before food preparation, after toilet use
- Immunisation – many diseases are preventable
- Practice hygienic food handling and preparation techniques
- Avoid sharing food, drinks, and personal items that can spread pathogens
- Wipe away blood and body fluid spills with alcohol-based disinfectant cleaners
- Clean and disinfect safely dispose of left-over food and other waste in the appropriate receptacle
- Avoid transmitting infections you have and contact with body fluids from infected people
These methods are standard precautions and safe practices.
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