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Simple measures prevent healthcare associated infections

George Winter discusses the importance of maintaining basic hygiene to protect ourselves and others.

Here are two quotes cited in a recent study1 of healthcare workers' (HCWs) attitudes to infection prevention and clinical glove use. The first: 'I am more cautious about myself than what I am passing on … infection from one patient to the next patient. I'll be honest.' The second: '[I wear gloves] to avoid hand hygiene during intensive patient care episodes.'

Guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE)2 on the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections [HCAIs] in primary and community care were published in 2012. Although they state that a 'no-tolerance attitude is now prevalent in relation to avoidable [HCAIs],' the above quotes suggest that this prevalence is not uniform among nurses and healthcare workers.

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