About 1.7 million infections occur in the United States every year, many of which could reasonably be avoided. What’s shocking is that many of these infections can begin in the hospital room in which you rest and recover from procedures. Many hospital rooms are nests for bacteria — so one of the best ways to stay free from illnesses and hospital infections during your hospital stay is to know what to look out for.
Many hospital beds are not adequately cleaned before a new patient moves in. In fact, an Xavier University study found that 3 out of 4 fail to scrub a mattress before using disinfectants. The product is that materials which cause infections are not fully eradicated, and the bed and sheets are therefore contaminated.
Outsourced Cleaning Staff
A hospital that employs an in-house cleaning staff is ideal. Outsourcing this task means that the people cleaning your room want to get the done as fast as possible. Being paid by room, these cleaners worry less about infection rates and more about getting to the next room.
The Dirty Remote Control
Being an electronic device, the remote control in your hospital room cannot be sprayed with disinfectants — doing so may cause the device to malfunction. As a consequence, many remotes carry more bacteria than you would think. In fact, a study by the University of Arizona suggests that the remote control in your hospital room may carry more bacteria than the handle on the toilet. A good idea is to bring disinfecting wipes with you when you go to the hospital.
The privacy curtain which separates your bed from the one next to you is important for creating a sense of solitude but it may also be bacteria-ridden. Research conducted by the University of Iowa posited that 95% of curtains tested carried bacteria. The main reason for this is that doctors and nurses don’t always wash their hands after interacting with a patient. They then close the curtain, transferring bacteria to the cloth.
Similar to the remote, the nurse-call button cannot be sprayed with disinfectants. Not to mention that the button can get just as much use as the remote. Remember to wash your hands after using the button.
Research suggests that many patients are uncomfortable asking nurses and doctors if they have properly sanitized themselves. This is particularly true of men. It is the right of every patient to be sure they are receiving good care in a hospital — so don’t be afraid to ask your health care professional to wash his or her hands once more before they interact with you. It is better to be safe than sorry.