3 Precautions That Nurses Take to Protect Their Patients (And Themselves)

Those who are in the healthcare industry and provide patient care understand how important it is to protect each person they provide services to, as well as themselves. Due to the risk of spreading germs and viruses, it’s important that proper measures are taken in healthcare settings. Here are a few of the top precautions that nurses take to protect their patients and themselves each day.

Washing Hands

One of the most important steps nurses can and should take is to wash their hands frequently throughout the day as they come in contact with different types of germs and bacteria. Not only does this step protect both parties, but it also prevents different areas from becoming contaminated for the next person that walks into the room. Nurses are extremely thorough when washing their hands, which includes a protocol of rubbing vigorously with hot water and soap for twenty seconds while also washing their wrists and the back of their hands. During this process, the water faucet is shut off with a paper towel before returning to work to avoid touching any germs that may be on the faucet handle.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is designed to offer a high level of protection from harmful contaminants. PPE protects both nurses and patients from potentially harmful contamination. The type of PPE that is used depends on the type of setting that the nurse is working in as they interact with patients. Single-use gloves are used daily when drawing blood or bandaging wounds. Surgical masks may be used to prevent germs from entering the nose and mouth. Goggles and face shields are also worn to avoid fluids from having contact with the mucous membranes of the eyes.

Become Familiar with the Patient Handling Equipment

Many types of patient handling equipment is used to help move patients safely. Nurses need to become familiar with using the devices to avoid injury to themselves or the patients. Proper training is required to ensure that nurses understand how to use total assist lifts and portable devices.

Understanding the necessary precautions to take as a nurse is required to protect their personal health and wellbeing, as well as that of their patients. By utilizing the right type of equipment and practicing the correct methods and techniques, it will create a safe environment that allows the individual to receive the proper treatment and care they need.

Simon Greenberg

Simon is a health tech enthusiast who believes information technology can bring major improvements in healthcare cost and quality. He is currently working on ways to improve how we can connect and interact with our healthcare system. You can find him on and .

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