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Quinnipiac University

RS 298 Methods of Patient Care


Emerging Health Care-Associated Infections in the Geriatric Population
Article assignment
Fall 2013
Name: Karen Finn

Date: 9/9/13

1. As a healthcare provider we contribute to the incidence of nosocomial infections


especially in the geriatric population. Discuss one initiative or effort that is used to
prevent healthcare providers from becoming ill and spreading infection. Please cite any
sources you use to answer this question include URLs.
Vaccination has greatly reduced the problem of infectious diseases. Getting protection
from infections and diseases in the health care worker population helps prevent
transmission of vaccine-preventable diseases to and from health care workers and
patients. Vaccines can protect both the people who receive them and those with who they
come in contact. A vaccine is a very simple and effective way healthcare providers can
reduce their risk of becoming ill.
http://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/86/2/07-040089/en/
2. Hospitals are one of the most common places elderly acquire nosocomial infections.
According to the article identify two contributing factors to the acquisition of nosocomial
infections in hospitals and explain why they are contributing factors. This question is
NOT asking what the most prevalent nosocomial infections are; rather what makes the
elderly population more susceptible to these infections.
Malnutrition can contribute to an elderly patient getting a nosocomial infection because it
reduces cell- mediated immunity, which makes them more susceptible. Malnutrition is
common in nursing home residents and may be more common in the geriatric community
because many of the patients do not feel well enough to eat or simply just do not want to.
Immobility, incontinence, dysphagia can complicate aging and enhance susceptibility to
infection because they are not constant moving which prevents the blood from flowing as
easily as it does in a patient that can walk. These impairments may necessitate the use of
urinary catheters, feeding tubes, and other invasive devices that magnify susceptibility.
3. Identify what you as a healthcare provider can do to reduce the risk of nosocomial
infections in the geriatric population.
Good infection control practices should be implemented in all institutions but especially
in long-term care facilities to fight nosocomial infections. Accrediting agencies should
demand proper infection control practices for nursing homes. The regulations need to be
more strict and altered in order for the risk of infection to decrease. Another step a
healthcare provider can do to reduce the risk of nosocomial infections in the geriatric

population is that everyone staying or working in the facility has to receive an influenza
vaccination annually to reduce the spread of pathogen.