Prevention of nosocomial infections in intensive care patients*

Department of General Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.
Nursing in Critical Care (Impact Factor: 0.65). 09/2010; 15(5):251-6. DOI: 10.1111/j.1478-5153.2010.00409.x
Source: PubMed


Changes in patient profile, and in the health care environment, altering socioeconomic conditions and advances in science and information technology challenge the nursing profession, in particular intensive care nursing. All these changes will undoubtedly affect the way we will practice in the (near) future. A comprehensive understanding of these factors is therefore essential if nursing is to meet the challenges presented by tomorrow's critical care environment. Precisely because of the often expensive high-tech evolutions that have occurred at a rapid pace and are to be further expected, a continued focus on the basics of nursing, the core role of care, as well as maintaining confidence in the capacity to deliver safe, high-quality, and evidence-based patient care will increasingly be a challenge to critical care nurses. In particular, basic nursing skills and knowledge remain a key prerequisite in the prevention of nosocomial infections, which is a continuing major complication and threat to intensive care unit patients. However, critical care nurses' knowledge about the evidence-based consensus recommendations for infection prevention and control has been found to be rather poor. It has nevertheless been demonstrated that a meticulous implementation of such preventive bundles may result in significantly better patient and process outcomes. Moreover, many preventive strategies are considered to be easy to implement and inexpensive. As such, a first and critical step should be to increase critical care nurses' adherence to the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In this article, an up-to-date assessment of evidence-based recommendations for the prevention of nosocomial infections, with special focus on catheter-related bloodstream infections and strategies relevant for nurses working in critical care environments, will be provided. Additionally, we will detail on a number of approaches advocated to translate the internationally accepted consensus recommendations to the needs and expectations of critical care nurses, and to consequently enhance the likelihood of successful implementation and adherence. These steps will help critical care nurses in their striving towards excellence in their profession.
Intensive care nurses can make a significant contribution in preventing nosocomial infections by assuming full responsibility for quality improvement measures such as evidence-based infection prevention and control protocols. However, as general knowledge of the preventive measures has been shown to be rather poor, nurses' education should include supplementary support from evidence-based recommendations.

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    • "the increased risk of HCAIs in the ICU (McCusker et al., 2002; Gastmeier et al., 2007; Vandijck et al., 2010; Venet et al., 2011). The problem of HCAIs becomes more challenging in developing countries such as Jordan (AL-Rawajfah et al., 2013a). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to evaluate infection control (IC) practices among Jordanian registered nurses (RNs) working in intensive care unit (ICU) settings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends periodic assessment of IC practices for health care workers as an effective strategy to control infections. Cross-sectional descriptive design. A stratified, cluster random sampling technique was used. The sample consisted of ICU RNs from all major health care service providers and from all geographical areas in Jordan. The IC-Practices Tool (Cronbach α = 0·88) a self-report instrument was used. A total of 21 hospitals participated in the study, of which, 8 were governmental, 7 military, 4 private and 2 university-affiliated. The final sample consisted of 247 RNs from 56 critical care units. Of the total sample, 36% of RNs were from governmental hospitals. Of the total sample, 51% were female with a mean age of 28·5 years (SD = 5·2), and 54·7% worked in general ICUs. The mean overall IC practice score was 122·6 (SD = 13·2). Nurses who reported that they had been trained about IC procedures in their hospital scored higher on the IC practice scale (M = 124·3, SD = 12·3) than nurses who never received any IC training in the hospital (M = 117·3, SD = 14·6, p < 0·001). This study demonstrated the importance of conducting IC educational programmes as an effective strategy to increase staff compliance with standard IC practices. Educational role of IC nurse is important to enhance RNs compliance with standard IC practices.
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