e. Prevent scalds and burns.
(1) Place coffee, tea, and other hot liquids where the patient can reach them
easily and safely.
(2) Assist the patient if there is any doubt about whether he can safely
regulate the temperature of water in tubs or showers.
(3) Carefully follow policy when using hot-water bags or heating pads.
Because of the danger of burning patients, many health care facilities do not allow their
f. Prevent the spread of infection. A health care facility may adopt its own
infection control policies and practices. However, the procedures generally follow the
recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This is a federal
agency that studies pathogens, outbreaks of contagious diseases, and methods used to
control these outbreaks.
(1) Preventing disease, including infections, is a high priority in health care.
Nurses should use techniques that prevent microorganisms from living, growing, and
(2) Two methods are used to reduce or eliminate the presence of
microorganisms and thus prevent infections. These two methods are called surgical
asepsis and medical asepsis.
(a) Surgical asepsis refers to the practice that eliminates the presence
of all microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeasts, molds, rickettsia, and protozoa).
This practice is sterilization.
(b) Medical asepsis refers to practices that help reduce the number
and inhibit the growth of microorganisms, especially pathogens (those that cause
infections or contagious diseases). Medical asepsis, also called clean technique
includes use of antimicrobial agents, hand washing, cleaning supplies and equipment,
(3) Infections and infectious diseases begin in a reservoir and move full
circle to a susceptible host (see figure 6-5).
(a) Reservoir. This is the place on which or in which organisms grow
and reproduce. Examples include man and animals.
(b) Exit from reservoir. Escape routes for organisms include the nose,
throat, mouth, ear, eye, intestinal tract, urinary tract, and wounds.