With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting increased flu activity, visitors to St. Joseph’s in Breese and all healthcare facilities are reminded of the important role everyone plays in guarding patient safety.
Infection Prevention colleagues at St. Joseph’s in Breese and the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology have a few recommendations on being a good visitor.
Respiratory hygiene stations - Alcohol hand gel, tissues and masks are at all entrances to St. Joseph’s in Breese and HealthPlex and near the Women and Infants Center elevator. Visitors are encouraged to use these supplies while here and practice good hand and respiratory hygiene at all times.
If you have symptoms – Anyone with flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, sore throat, body or muscle aches, headache, cough or runny nose within the past three days, or with nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea are asked to not visit patients. If you have any of the above symptoms and are at the hospital for medical services or it is absolutely necessary that you visit a patient, please wear a mask and wash your hands often.
Hand sanitation - Soap and hand sanitizers are for everyone so wash or sanitize your hands when entering and leaving a patient’s room; after sneezing, coughing or touching your eyes, nose or mouth; and before and after eating, drinking or using the restroom. Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue or your sleeve, do not sit on patient beds or handle equipment and follow instructions posted outside the patient’s room.
Younger visitors – Check first before bringing youngsters and make sure the child is free from symptoms. While here, children should not play on the floor or bed and should wash their hands when entering and leaving the room. Children 14 years old and younger are asked not to visit at this time.
Special precautions – “Isolation Precautions” rooms have special requirements. Please check with the nursing staff before entering.
Don’t contribute to clutter - Less clutter eases the critical job of cleaning hospital rooms. Keep patient items off the floor and away from waste containers.
Visiting more than one patient - If visiting more than one patient, sanitize your hands before and after each and visit the person in isolation last, following the appropriate precautions.
Back home - Follow discharge instructions and eliminate germs from the patient’s environment by using disinfectants such as sprays and wipes to clean hard surfaces often. Ask for special instructions if the patient had a drug-resistant infection such as MRSA or C. difficile.
Flu Immunizations – All hospital colleagues, volunteers and physicians were encouraged to have a flu shot this fall and those who did so, have a yellow sticker on his or her nametag. Those who cannot receive the flu immunization will be required to wear a face mask during flu season.