This week, October 17-23, is International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW). Established in 1986, it is a week dedicated to bringing awareness to infection prevention and celebrating Infection Preventionists (IPs) for everything they do to help keep their communities safe.
IPs are nurses, doctors, epidemiologists and other healthcare professionals who work tirelessly everyday to ensure that healthcare workers and patients do everything they should to prevent infections from spreading. With the world still battling COVID-19, infection prevention is more important than ever. The pandemic has brought greater awareness to what infection prevention is and its importance in slowing and stopping the spread of infectious diseases.
As we continue to tackle COVID-19, contracting infections is still a major stressor in people's lives. Through an independent survey on nurses that was conducted here at Gales, we found that nearly 67% of the nurses surveyed said that they were either concerned or very concerned about exposure to infection at work. Because of this, we thought it would be beneficial to highlight and share a few things IPs recommend that you do in order to prevent infection.
According to the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology these are the following 10 things you can do to protect yourself and others from infection:
1. Wash your hands often
2. Stay hydrated and keep your skin moisturized
3. Get vaccinated
4. Keep your environment and surroundings clean
5. Go outside and get fresh air
6. Practice food safety
7. Stay home if you’re sick
8. Make sure you cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing
9. Remember your MEDS (meditate, exercise, diet and sleep)
10. Keep personal items to yourself (do not share things such as cups/drinks, toothbrushes, lip balm, etc.)
With the cold and flu season upon us and COVID-19 still spreading, it is crucial that everyone does their part to keep themselves and others healthy and safe and practicing the above 10 things is a great start.
Check out https://infectionpreventionandyou.org/ to learn more about IIPW and infection prevention.