Proper housekeeping is essential to preventing hospital personnel, patients and visitors from contracting hospital-acquired illnesses. Very high-risk areas of a hospital include intensive and infant care areas, emergency rooms and patient bathrooms. These areas may need to be cleaned several times per day using high-quality cleaners and hospital-grade disinfectants. One of the best ways to accomplish effective hospital housekeeping is to determine which areas are high risks for transmittable infections and diseases and to clean all areas by using cleaning chemicals correctly. It is also helpful to and attend training provided by hospital safety staff.
Hospital restrooms are used by patients, visitors and sometimes even staff. A clean restroom is beneficial for the appearance of the hospital as well as controlling odors, and practicing safety measures. It is important to use proper cleaning supplies such as a good mop, broom, cleaning cloths, gloves, and eye goggles when cleaning restrooms. A hospital-grade disinfectant cleaner that can kill germs and bacteria is most effective. You may also want to use glass cleaner for mirrors. Be sure to place “Wet Floor” signs in the restroom after mopping. Wipe sink surfaces, toilets and stall doors. You should also clean knobs and light switches with disinfectant spray. Empty all trash cans and put in new garbage bags. If the trash can smells bad or looks dirty, clean the inside and outside with disinfectant. Because hospitals have such heavy daily traffic, restrooms should be cleaned daily or twice a day.
Before cleaning a patient’s room, wash your hands and put on protective gloves. Patients' beds should be stripped and remade with clean linen. Furniture such as tables, beds,and lamps should be sprayed with disinfectant cleaner and wiped dry. Replace or clean cubicle curtains. Empty trash cans, wipe the windows, sweep floors (vacuum if carpeted), and be sure to clean doorknobs and light switches. Wash your hands after leaving the room.
Cleaning, Sanitizing And Disinfecting
It is important to understand the differences between disinfecting, cleaning and sanitizing a surface. When a surface is cleaned, soils and dirt particles are removed. Bacteria or germs may still be present. Use a disinfectant spray to kill and or reduce bacteria on surfaces such as counters and walls. The use of heat and or chemicals is required to effectively sanitize hospital rooms, equipment and surfaces. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency states that using a sanitizer significantly reduces microorganisms. Sanitizing a hospital surface is more effective when the contaminated area is first wiped down. Housekeepers in hospital settings must adhere to all dilution instructions on cleaning labels to clean effectively.
Roe Gillis is a writer, photographer and career specialist who has published articles covering business, travel, medical concerns, family and news. She has an associate degree in journalism from Pensacola State and a background in human resources.