Diligence and ‘robust’ rules protect health

Dunstan Hospital infection control nurse Jill Hansen has measures in place to protect patients at...
Dunstan Hospital infection control nurse Jill Hansen has measures in place to protect patients at Level 3. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
The move to Level 3 does not mean people should let their guards down, a Central Otago infection control nurse says.

Jill Hansen of Central Otago Health Services and Dunstan Hospital had the backs of patients and staff alike, with robust infection prevention and control processes in place.

The basic message remained the same: good hand washing, and for clinical staff the appropriate use of personal protective equipment when caring for patients who meet the relevant criteria, she said.

If anyone was prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic it was Mrs Hansen, who had worked at Central Otago Health Services for many years, providing advice and guidance on infection control procedures.

She was an integral part of annual preparations for the flu season, and also provided extra training for interaction with any patients with an infectious disease.

"Continuous, ongoing education for all staff is important and includes how to apply protective equipment — donning and doffing, as it is referred to — and ensuring robust cleaning procedures are in place."

The message for hospital staff had been the same as for the public, and it remained the same at Level 3 as it was at Level 4.

That was important to avoid a return to Level 4.

"There have been many changes in my role since we activated Central Otago Health Services’ emergency operations centre in response to Covid-19.

"With a robust isolation policy and guidelines in place, alongside good staff adherence, patients in isolation present a low risk of transmission.

"In addition, staff perform extra checks and precautions before they leave work and when they arrive home."

jared.morgan@odt.co.nz

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