Upon approaching this one station in a hospital where I reported for duty, I noticed that it was not the same as before way back when I’m still a student. The little bit crowded before is now already spacious. It can now accommodate student nurses, nurses’ trainees, doctors, and staffs at the same time without so much crowding. And it feels nice to stay in this station after interacting and giving care to our patients. As I tried to look at every angle of this station and was trying to figure out what kept the station looks different, I figured out that the big cabinet that was inside the station as no longer there.
That’s the main reason why the station is now commodious. The cabinet that was removed served before as storage for clean linens, gowns, and pillow cases. Now that there’s no more cabinet, it is put on top of an unused stretcher, Just along the hallway. Patients, watchers, doctors, nurses and visitors go back and forth passing the uncovered clean gowns and linens. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines, clean linens should be transported and stored by methods that will ensure its cleanliness.
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Another deadline from the National Association of Institutional Linen Management (NAIL), the carts or hampers that deliver laundered linens must be cleaned prior to accepting processed linens. A clean liner within the cart is acceptable, and the linens should be covered. With this, I can say that these uncovered things can catch free floating microorganisms that are present in the hospital because of the way it is stored. Patients, personnel and visitors in health care settings are exposed to potential infection risks on a daily basis.
Patients are in a higher risk of acquiring this cause of their immune-compromised status. I remembered one research study about the nurses’ caps as a medium for spreading the hospital infection. With this, it came to my mind that this incident that Vive noticed could possibly transfer also the infection especially to the patients came in contact with these things. We nurses are being taught of the infection control methods and part of this is the proper storage and placement of the things minored not to inflict harm to others. This is not only for the gowns and linens but all things should be in the proper place.
I. Strategies and Recommendations for Change Policies and procedures must be in place to prevent the spread of these infections throughout the facility. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) created guidelines for administrative measures and standard precautions to prevent the spread of infection in healthcare facilities. Hospitals are also required to have policies and procedures addressing all areas of their laundry departments, licenser and regulatory agencies, infection control/quality assurance committees from healthcare, and personnel working in the laundry area.
According to the CDC, adhering to these standard precautions should control the spread of infection in most circumstances. According to the NAIL guidelines, rooms that are used to store clean linen must have temperatures ranging from 680 to 780 F. It should be properly ventilated to prevent the accumulation of dust and lint. It should also be free from drains or hot water pipes. There should have shelves used for storing linen that are approximately 1-2 inches from the wall for accessible cleaning; the bottom shelf must be 6-8 inches from the floor and the top shelf must be 12-18 inches below the ceiling.
The selves or the room should store only clean linens in order not to contaminate each other. It should also have a door that remains closed at all times and it should have a positive pressure. The very best solution is to follow the guidelines set by the NAIL which is to have a safe room and a cabinet exclusively Just for the clean linens. But following this takes more time, money and physical changes that will alter and affect the flow of work in the station. An immediate solution to the problem is just to secure these things away from contacting possible microorganisms. A small cabinet placed inside or outside the station will do.
If the cabinet is not possible, I think a simple clean box will also do. It is cheap plus it has a door-like cover that will hinder, if not totally block the microorganisms. Another solution that I’m thinking is derived from the NAIL guidelines that it should be covered if there’s really nowhere to put. The covers shall protect the linens at all time during storage. They cannot be removed or adjusted in a manner that will expose linens to common traffic. Even if it’s Just plain linen, it can be very helpful in blocking microorganisms thus reducing the risk of transferring it especially to the patients.