Why do we use safety precautions?
If you ever signed up for a CPR or First Aid class, you will remember the emphasis on wearing the proper protective equipment
when you provide care. Whether it is a pair of latex or other protective gloves or using a mask when providing respiration, you are instructed and reminded over and over again to put on your gloves and use the mask. This is because anyone that you meet could have an infection that might put you at risk. This is not about judging people, but keeping yourself safe. While it might seem that a doctor wouldn't need to worry about these protections, that is definitely not the case. Any medical professional is going to be at a greater risk because of the environment in which they work and the number of patients that they attend to on a regular basis.
What are some important protections that doctors use on a daily basis?
If you are working as a doctor and working with patients every day, then there are many basic precautions that you can use to protect yourself. We have already talked about wearing gloves, and that certainly applies for you as well. You will want to make sure to avoid touching anything with a glove that have been exposed to any body fluids and change your gloves if they are damaged or soiled too much. Also, do not reuse a pair of gloves for actual medical work, but you can reuse them if you are at a training class and not working with an actual patient. You should also make sure to use protective coverings on any tools that are used to check on something that will be exposed to body fluids. This would include using a thermometer or an insert for looking in an ear. You will not need a cover on a tongue depressor since that will just be thrown out after it is used.
If you are working in the medical field, you will have exposure to many other forms of infection because you will be working with a variety of patients with a broad spectrum of infections because your patients will have a variety of concerns that they want your help dealing with. When interacting with patients, you will want to make sure that you are wearing clean and disinfected clothing that is prepared carefully to make sure that your patients are protected, but also to make sure that you have a clean surface to know if you have any stains or exposure to infected materials. You will also want to make sure that you are keeping a close watch on your own health in case you become sick so that you do not pass on infection to your patients.
Taking care of the basics is your best protection.
When you are working with patients, you want to make sure that you are taking care of your own health and safety as well. If you are not taking care of the basic concerns you will be putting yourself and your patients as risk of infection. Make sure that you are putting on your gloves and changing them regularly if there is a need or a concern. By using the basic protections that you have available, you will be safe from infection while providing the high level of quality care that you want to give all of your patients. Basic precautions may seem unimportant to some medical professionals, but do not make that mistake. Keep yourself and your patients safe from infection.