Diploma Health & Safety Handout 2: Infection Control

You have been asked to prepare three hand outs for new staff attending an induction. The hand outs are to provide information on the following topics.

Hand out 2 – Infection control

This hand out must include:

Ciii  A description of the different routes through which infection can get into the body.

Civ   An explanation of:
a) Prevention methods including hand washing, the social care workers and other’s personal hygiene.
b) The social care workers role in supporting others to promote best practice in infection control.

Cv An evaluation of:
a) Different types of personal protective equipment (PPE).
b) How using PPE can help to prevent the spread of infection.

INFECTION CONTROL

for Inductees

This handout provides information to new staff about the importance of infection control.

Routes of Infection

Infections can enter the body via several different routes:

  • Respiratory – pathogens in the air are breathed into the lungs
  • Breaks in skin – pathogens enter the bloodstream through the skin via cuts, needle pricks, insect bites etc.
  • Digestive tract – pathogens are ingested in food or drink (or other items that go into the mouth)
  • Bodily fluids – pathogens enter the body via bodily fluids (e.g. semen during sexual intercourse)

Prevention

Infection can be prevented by maintaining a high level of hygiene.

This means washing hands thoroughly and regularly and always before handling food or medication.

The workplace should be kept clean and tidy and surfaces cleaned with antibacterial wipes or spray. Toilets and sinks should be cleaned with bleach regularly.

Food should be stored correctly and thrown away when it has gone past its use-by date. Bins should be emptied regularly.

Legislation should be adhered to (COSHH, RIDDOR etc.) and illness should be prevented from spreading by using tissues when coughing or sneezing and avoiding close contact.

A social care worker also has the responsibility to promote best practices for hygiene to their colleagues and other individuals in the service setting to prevent the risk of infection. This can mean encouraging individuals to maintain a high level of hygiene (reminding them to wash their hands after going to the toilet, prompting them to clean their kitchen etc.)

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

PPE is used to protect individuals from potential infection by creating a protective barrier between people and pathogens.

Types of PPE include:

  • Gloves – protect the hands from picking up pathogens and spreading them via touch
  • Aprons – prevents pathogens being transferred via clothing
  • Masks – prevents pathogens being breathed into the lungs
  • Hair nets – prevents contamination via hair.

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