Infection control has been a persistent issue in the nursing home industry. Prior to the pandemic, over 350,000 nursing home residents died due to infection annually. Infections like respiratory infections, skin and soft tissue infections, gastroenteritis, and urinary tract infections are wildly common in these settings. During the pandemic, the lack of infection control practices had major ramifications. Although nursing home residents make up less than one percent of the population, they accounted for 20% of covid-related deaths in the United States.
Infection control was the most commonly cited deficiency on state surveys, with 40% of nursing home facilities cited for poor infection control practices. Nurses are key to infection control, but the past two years have left nurses feeling stressed, frustrated, exhausted, overwhelmed, and undervalued in the workplace. Little was done to support caregivers in a meaningful way, leading to high stress levels and skipped sanitation practices. Positive change can occur with adequate support. In-person instruction unique to each care facility can make all the difference in a nursing facility’s ability to control infections.
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