Practice Expectation Spotlight
Championing Hygiene and Sanitation in your Practice Environment and Beyond
As regulated healthcare professionals, we have a responsibility to demonstrate procedures that safeguard the hygiene and sanitation of the practice environment. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of this responsibility has been highlighted as a key component of quality healthcare and improved health outcomes. For example:
- Technical guidance from the World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance-publications (select: COVID-19: Infection prevention and control / WASH from the drop down)
- Howard, J. et al. 2021. An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2014564118
The entry-level competencies of registered nursing practice support RNs, RN(AP)s and RN(NP)s to take on many roles that contribute to safeguarding of the hygiene and sanitation of practice environments.
Consider actions that you have and can take associated with each of the nine registered nursing roles outlined in the Entry-Level Competencies (ELCs) for the Practice of Registered Nurses (2019) and reflect on:
- Your individual role in safeguarding the hygiene and sanitation of the practice environment; and
- The impact of the registered nursing profession on the quality of services received by clients.
Implementing evidence-based infection control practices.
Demonstrating accountability, accepting responsibility, and seeking assistance as necessary for decisions and actions taken related to hygiene and sanitation.
Using conflict resolution strategies to work with clients and team members where there are varied perspectives on the best course of action related to hygiene or sanitation.
Encouraging client feedback on your practice in relation to maintaining a hygienic and sanitary environment.
|Collaborator||Identifying own role and expertise and role and expertise of others (e.g. infection control professional) when making or contributing to decisions regarding hygiene and sanitation.|
Taking an active role in adjusting workflows and coordinating care to ensure hygiene and sanitation within the changing practice environment.
|Leader||Leading by example in following public health orders and infection control practices both inside and outside of the practice setting (e.g. not wearing work uniform to grocery store; masking when required by health orders).|
Advocating for a change when agency, manufacturer or government guidelines do not meet the infection control requirements regarding appropriate use and fit of personal protective equipment.
Advocating for equitable access to conditions or practices conducive to maintaining health and preventing disease.
|Educator||Providing clients and/or stakeholders with reputable resources and information about hygiene and sanitation.|
|Scholar||Taking time to review best evidence before making statements or decisions about hygiene or sanitation.|
During the pandemic and beyond, as registered nurses, we have the knowledge, skill and judgement to champion high quality hygiene and sanitation practices in the best interest of the public. Our actions make a difference and will be remembered in the decades to come. To ensure you stay current on the practice expectations, best available evidence and advice check out the resources below.
Howard, J. et al. 2021. An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2014564118
Technical guidance from the World Health Organization: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/technical-guidance-publications (select: COVID-19: Infection prevention and control / WASH from the drop down)