During CNA training, you’ll learn a lot about keeping things sanitary and avoiding cross contamination. Despite this part of your training, it’s important to keep cross contamination prevention at the forefront of your brain. It’s a major concern in hospitals, nursing homes, and any other clinical setting.
What is cross contamination? It’s the transfer of harmful bacteria from one location to another. After CNA training, preventing this is essential because cross contamination can affect your health and the health of your patients.
Where to be Concerned About Cross Contamination
So, where is cross contamination a major problem?
- Kitchens- Do you prepare meals for your patients after CNA training? Avoiding proper hygiene protocols you learn in CNA training can affect the safety of your patients. If you fail to wash your hands, for instance, and then touch food, you could be spreading harmful bacteria to the food the patient eats. They could develop food poisoning because of it.
- Keyboards- Many hospitals these days are becoming more high-tech. You’ll probably use computers to record patient input and output, check patient IDs, and record vital signs. The problem is, whether the computer or device has a touch screen or keyboard, it could be an overlooked area where pathogens are transferred.
- Carts- In some nursing homes, carts are made available for CNAs on each hall to carry blankets, supplies, and extra gowns from room to room. If you fail to wash your hands after seeing a patient, you could spread bacteria simply by touching the cart. And, even if you do everything correctly, another CNA who used the cart might not have.
- Patient’s Environment- Staying sanitary when moving from room to room after CNA training is essential, as anything you touch in a patient’s environment has a very high possibility for cross contamination. Even if you only touch a patient’s bedside chair, wash your hands before you leave the room.
Preventing Cross Contamination After CNA Training
So, how do you prevent cross contamination from becoming a problem? Be aware of the locations it’s most likely to occur, then take steps to ensure that you’re protecting yourself and your patients. You can do this by:
- Being diligent about washing your hands before and after working with a patient
- Never placing a patient’s clothing or belongings on a previously sanitary surface
- Using disinfecting spray on doorknobs and keyboards
- Using hand sanitizer in addition to washing your hands
- Wearing protective equipment when working with patients
- Washing your hands before and after you prepare food, clean, apply cosmetics, smoke, eat, or drink
Keep it Clean After CNA Training
By taking precautions with every move you make after CNA training, you can not only ensure your patients stay as healthy as possible while they are under your care, but you can also avoid becoming sick as well. Avoiding cross contamination isn’t difficult. Just remember to wear the right equipment and wash your hands as often as possible to keep bacteria from spreading after CNA training.