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infection control practices, healthy workplaces, self-health



  1. Grota, Patti G. MS, APRN, CIC
  2. Meinzen, Sarah BSN, RN
  3. Burleson-Rine, Penny BSN, RN, CCRN


Healthy infection prevention practices (HIPP) include hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, environmental cleanliness, and use of personal protective equipment. These healthy practices are most used to protect individuals against exposure to bacterial and viral infections in the workplace, as well as in the home. Most often these infection prevention behaviors in critical care units are promoted to protect the patient from healthcare-associated infections. Yet, these practices are just as important to the health of the critical care nurse. Self-health in the workplace is essential to creating a healthy workplace environment, which is the goal of many intensive care units today. The benefits of creating a healthy work environment are improvement of patient/nurse satisfaction and nurse retention. HIPP reduce the risk of the critical care nurse's exposure to microbial pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and influenza. Pathogens that cause infections may contaminate the hands, the clothing, equipment, and blood, putting the nurse at risk for unhealthy hands, unhealthy flora, and unhealthy blood. The intensive care nurse is encouraged to embrace HIPP to nurture self, as well as protect the patient.