Staying Healthy at Work – Essential Hygiene Guide for Certified Nursing Assistants

Working in a healthcare facility, and especially with children, is exciting and offers a chance to be continually challenged. While the goal of a CNA is to assist in the recovery of patients, you’re still at a higher risk of transferring illness-causing germs to others or to yourself. Even though you’re at a higher risk of catching sickness due to your close proximity to a multitude of ill patients, reduce your risk of getting sick by following these essential hygiene tips.

Isolate Scrubs

After you arrive home, don’t spend time relaxing in your scrubs. Although you may have washed your hands before and after every patient, it’s possible you’re carrying germs on your clothing. Immediately upon entering your home, place your scrubs in its own laundry hamper. The goal is to keep these clothing away from others to prevent contamination.

Every night before going to bed, wash your scrubs. While this may seem excessive to some, the key to preventing work-caused sickness is to eliminate the possibility of spreading germs throughout your home.

Adhere to Hygiene Requirements

According to state and federal law, certified personal assistants must follow strict handwashing and room sanitizing guidelines. Before ever reaching a patient, wash your hands and lower forearms for a minimum of 20-seconds. Immediately following your interaction, repeat the same handwashing cycle. Althoguh this may seem repetitive, regulations clearly state this protocol must be followed.

While tending to patients, keep an eye out for surfaces that may be contaminated. As a rule of thumb, when in doubt, sanitize. The cleaner you keep a patients room, the less likely it is the patient or yourself will succumb to the pressure of harmful germs and bacteria. Focus your cleaning on areas immediately around the patient as well as any common surfaces where visitors or medical staff place items they must touch.

Immediately Tend to Flesh Wounds

No matter how careful you are, the likelihood of accidentally cutting your skin while working is significantly high. Whether you cut your arm on a piece of medical equipment or accidentally stabbed your finger with an unused needle, treat this abrasion as a critical emergency. This is especially important when dealing with patients that feature blood born illnesses. Eliminate the possibility of infection, or disease, by stopping what you’re doing and tending to your wound without delay. Even through this may halt treatment or daily tasks, your health and the health of those around you is far more important than maintaining a set schedule.