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Safeguarding Against Bacteria While in Hospital

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 5 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
Hospital Bacteria Hospital Hygiene

In today’s modern society most people are concerned about infections and becoming unwell especially whilst being a patient in hospital. However, there are some measures that can help protect against these infections and bacteria which will help in the fight against disease.

Before Admission to Hospital

Your safe journey through hospital can begin whilst you are still at home. When anticipating a trip to hospital try and make sure your personal belongings are clean and in order and that your personal hygiene needs are met where possible.

Obviously for some patients these tasks cannot be effectively carried out due to problems with mobility and capability but there might be someone around who can help you get your things in order.Try and make sure your hair is clean and your fingernails are tidy especially if you are due to have surgery as this may help lessen the likelihood of having a post-operative infection.

When an In-Patient

When people are patients in hospital it can be hard to fill the time and the temptation to explore the hospital can be great. If you have had surgery you are already at risk of developing a post-operative infection even if you stay in your bay or your room so by leaving your clinical area you may be putting yourself at risk.

Areas such as public access routes and canteens will be cleaned regularly so these may be safe but other areas should be avoided especially in the first few days after your operation.It may also be tempting to spend time with other patients but sitting on the beds of other patients or sharing jackets etc may put you at serious risk of infection transmission so although socialising with other patients shouldn’t be discouraged, ask a member of staff to move a chair over to your destination and use this to try and protect yourself.

If there are signs up asking visitors and staff to wear aprons, gloves and masks where tending to a patient this means they are likely to have an infection already so spending time with these patients if you are already compromised yourself is not advisable.


Mealtimes can be a very touchy subject with patients in hospital a they are often left with little choice of menu or miss meal times because of appointments, tests etc but nutrition is extremely important for a poorly or compromised patient.

If there really is nothing on the menu that like, ask the staff if there are any other options for consideration.Make sure your food is hot if it supposed to be, and if you have any complaints please do mention them to the staff as these can be acted upon and improvements made.

Personal & Hospital Hygiene

Your personal hygiene is the most important way in which protection against bacteria can be enforced.Obviously hand washing is vital even when not in hospital but it is even more important if you are a patient and you have any wounds or any gastrointestinal disturbances already.

Wounds should not be touched no matter how tempting it might be to take a quick peek at your scar and cathters, wound drains and drips should not be meddled with as this can cause serious infections developing.

As patients we are entitled to ask staff to wash their hands before they treat us. This initiative was introduced to help in the prevention of the spread of bacteria and germs. You are also entitled to ask that you bed area is cleaned if you are not satisfied with it.If you are unsure of how you can protect yourself, please speak to the staff who will be happy to help answer your questions.

There are many causes of infections in hospitals and hygiene maintenance is vital in the fight against these complaints.Man infections may not result in wound infections but can have an effect on the digestive tract causing sickness and diarrhoea.Always make sure your hygiene needs are met and if you need assistance please ask for help.

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