5 Ways to Protect Yourself From Germs
Bacteria and viruses can be very contagious and make us ill. No one like to be sick, so here are 5 things that will help you in your battle against germs!
- Wash Your Hands. Can’t say it enough! Hand Hygiene is the #1 way to prevent the spread of infection.
- Respiratory Hygiene/Cough etiquette. You should cover mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze with a tissue or in your elbow. If you did cover with your hand be sure to immediately wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or with an alcohol-based hand rub.
- Injection Safety. These are steps to ensure that one needle, one syringe are used only one time. Outbreaks of Hepatitis B and C have been associated with breaks in injection safety. Don’t hesitate to ask your provider if they understand injection safety and if the needle and syringe are only being used once!
- Sanitize Your Surroundings. Always be sure to follow manufacturer instructions regarding cleaning products. Every product has a time frame that determines how long the “surface” must be wet in order to properly clean the surface. Some home products such as Clorox wipes require 4 minutes or longer. Don’t forget to protect your hands from these products as well!
- ABC’s of Antibiotic. We should all ask the following questions of our healthcare provider when prescribed an antibiotic—Do I really need an antibiotic? Can I get better without this antibiotic? What side effects or drug interactions can I expect? What side effects should I report to you? How do you know what kind of infection I have as I understand antibiotics won’t work for viral infections?
With a few precautions and a little bit of effort, we can help reduce illness and make our lives much more germ free!
About the Author
Melissa Morgan, MSN, RN, CIC, CSPDT, is Cone Health's system-wide director for infection prevention.