Preventing the development of nosocomial infections is crucial to maintaining the well-being of not only patients but also nurses, as well as creating the environment for faster recovery and reducing the length of the hospital stay. The specified issue is especially significant for meeting the needs of patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), where the opportunities for nurse-patient communication are limited, and where nurses are especially vulnerable to external threats, including infections and similar health risks (Kong, Park, & Park, 2016). Therefore, designing the tools that will allow minimising the risk should be viewed as the priority. The scope of the essay is limited to the discussion of the risks of contract in infectious diseases, which nurses may face in the context of the ICU environment in a hospital. Furthermore, the impact of the specified risks on the target population will be explored. As a result, the foundation for building a sustainable approach to managing the problem can be identified.
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Because of the consistent exposure to infections during regular procedures performed in the realm of an ICU, nurses face the threat of contracting a bloodstream infection (BSI) on a regular basis. The fact that bacteria gradually develop resistance toward antibiotics makes the issue even more difficult to handle (Hasman et al., 2015). According to a recent study, multidrug-resistant infections (MDRs) account for 50.7% of instances of health complications in the ICU environment (Russotto et al., 2015, p. 288). The lack of efficient control procedures, which could have prevented the instances of developing BSIs among nurses, also affects the well-being of the target population, therefore, making nurses as vulnerable as patients once they are introduced to the ICU setting (Shang, Stone, & Larson, 2016).
Furthermore, the propensity toward making a mistake when carrying out ICU-specific procedures, such as the process of inserting a central line venous catheter in a patient’s body, also increases the threat of exposing not only a patient but also a nurse to the contraction of a BSI, which, in this case, is defined as the Central Line-associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI) (Sahni et al., 2017). Therefore, a closer focus on the promotion of safety among nurses operating in the ICU environment, as well as vaccination and the enhancement of the current standards for conducting ICU-related procedures (e.g., the provision of detailed guidelines for preventing the instances of BSIs during the central line catheter implanting), must be viewed as a necessity (Quddus, Jehan, & Ali, 2015).
The impact of BSIs on the well-being of nurses working in the ICU environment is deleterious; particularly, it includes a rapid drop in their physical and emotional health. Specifically, the variety of effects that BSIs may have on nurses ranges from the rise in the workplace burnout levels in the ICU environment to the sharp increase in morbidity rates among the target population (Garrouste-Orgeas et al., 2015). Indeed, when introduced to a combined effect of BSIs and the pressure of controlling the ICU environment to reduce the effects of life-threatening factors on patients, a nurse is likely to deal with psychological issues such as workplace burnout and depression and physiological concerns linked to the management of BSIs in question. As a result, the opportunities for a successful recovery are reduced to a considerable extent (Guntupalli, Wachtel, Mallampalli, & Surani, 2014).
Furthermore, the specified issue is bound to lead to a gradual drop in the quality of the staff’s performance due to the array of physiological and psychological negative consequences mentioned above. As a recent study points out, nurses that are experiencing workplace burnouts, depression, and the associated complications, deliver poorer performance than their healthy co-workers due to the loss of attention and motivation (Khamisa, Oldenburg, Peltzer, & Ilic, 2015). Finally, the change in the reputation of the nurses that develop the identified problems should be mentioned. Because of the drop in their performance levels, they are likely to experience harsh criticism from the hospital managers and be viewed as less competent and, thus, less valued staff members (Galletta et al., 2016).
The resulting drop in the nurses’ motivation and engagement levels will inevitably affect the quality of their work to an even greater degree, leading to a consistent deterioration of their relationships with the managers and, thus, their further dismissal. It should be noted that the hospital will also suffer significantly in the scenario described above since the reduction in the number of nurses will trigger an inescapable increase in workload and, thus, an even sharper decline in the quality of the services delivered by the rest of the nurses. Therefore, presenting the tools that will allow reducing the threat of nosocomial infections and especially BSIs development among nurses is crucial to both the well-being of the staff and the performance of the organisation. The introduction of revised and improved strategies for workplace safety in the ICU environment should be deemed as the crucial step toward the prevention of BSIs among nurses (Lo et al., 2014).
Seeing that the problem under analysis involves an immediate change in the levels of performance delivered by nurses, the consequences are bound to be drastic for all stakeholder involved, including patients, nurses, and healthcare institutions. The creation of obstacles for the further improvement in the quality of care and the communication between patients and nurses must be deemed as the primary area of concern. Indeed, a closer look at the subject matter will show that the rise in the BSIs contraction levels among the staff will trigger a gradual deterioration in the degree of investment and, therefore, the levels of care provided by the nursing staff.
Particularly, nurses are likely to pay less attention to the needs of the target population, which is paramount in the contemporary multicultural community (Bassuni & Bayoumi, 2015). Indeed, because of the increasingly high rates of globalisation, the population to the needs of which nurses must cater is becoming increasingly more diverse, which means that the range of needs and unique factors that affect their well-being is becoming larger. Without motivation, which serves as a powerful impetus for acquiring the knowledge required for an enhanced communication process and a better understanding of patients’ needs, nurses will be unable to manage the target population’s health concerns properly, hence a drop in the number of positive patient outcomes (Ahn, 2017).
Because of the consistent exposure to BSIs in the ICU environment, nurses face a significant threat to their well-being, as well as the performance of the hospital and the overall quality of care. To avoid the specified issue, one should consider using vaccines combined with the creation of a set of rigid guideline for the staff to comply with, as well as mandatory blood investigation as part and parcel of the hospital policy. As a result, the foundation for increasing the levels of safety in the ICU environment will be created. Consequently, both the quality of care and the well-being of the stakeholders involved will remain at the required level.
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