5 Ways to Fight Infection

The hospital is a place you come to get well, but you also can come in contact with germs. Reduce your chances of infection by taking these safety precautions.

  1. Clean your hands.
    • after touching hospital objects or surfaces
    • before and after eating
    • after using the restroom
    • before taking medicine
  2. Ask hospital staff members to clean their hands. This should be standard practice, but don’t be afraid to remind them if they forget. You may also ask them to wear gloves when caring for you. Ask visitors to clean their hands too!
  3. Cover when you sneeze and cough. You can limit the spread of germs by sneezing and coughing into a tissue that you should promptly throw away. Remember to clean your hands afterward. Ask the staff if there is anything else you should do—like wear a surgical mask—to prevent the spread of germs.
  4. Keep an eye on bandages or dressings. If a dressing on a wound or IV becomes loose or wet, do not hesitate to let your nurse know. Also if you have a catheter or drainage tube, tell your nurse if it becomes loose or dislodged, or if you have a concern about the amount of drainage.
  5. Keep your vaccinations up to date. Make sure you are as protected as possible from the spread of infection. Check with hospital staff about whether it’s safe for you to receive any vaccines you might need.

CLEANING TIP: Use soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean under your nails, in between your fingers, and on the palms and backs of your hands. Rub while counting to 20 or singing the ABCs.

*Tell friends and family not to visit if they are sick. Make sure all your visitors and guests clean/wash their hands when they enter and leave your room.