Germs are everywhere! They can be transmitted through the air, off a contaminated surface, or through a common source (such as food poisoning). Whether you work in an office, school, or hospital, the chances of getting an infection or catching a cold from a friend, patient, student or coworker are equally high. Luckily there are multiple ways to stop or help prevent the spread of infection. One of the simplest ways is through handwashing; 20 seconds of rigorous hand washing with just soap and water can stop the spread of most infectious pathogens. Once you wash your hands, use paper towels to open the door out of the restroom. Coughing or sneezing into your elbow vs. your hands can help to prevent the spread of infection – “keep your germs to yourself.”
Some other ways to keep the work place healthy is to ensure most employees are getting their yearly vaccines, such as, the flu shot and the tuberculosis (TB) skin test. Keeping the workplace clean, mopping/vacuuming the floors, using proper disinfectants such as bleach to clean up blood and other bodily fluids, ensuring walls and ceilings are dusted and washed periodically, staying home while sick and of course wearing gloves and/or a mask when in contact with an infected person or if you yourself are infected. If you have cuts or abrasions, be sure they are covered with the appropriate waterproof bandages/dressings. Be sure not to share each other’s personal items, such as towels, brushes, chapstick, etc. When working with infectious waste, be sure to follow proper disposal EPA regulations and wear protective gloves to do so.
When working in an exam room or general work space, be sure to examine the work area, make sure the area is clean and free of contamination or unknown substances. Stay vigilant, don’t assume anything! Be mindful of your surroundings, the people you are with, and the area that you are in. This will help you better navigate through the best practices to use to keep yourself and others healthy.
Following these simple guidelines will help to keep you, your co-workers, friends or that stranger in the coffee shop from catching a cold or illness; so, let’s all do our part!
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.