RESIST Hand Hygiene campaign launched at St. Columba’s Hospital, Thomastown

St. Columbas Hospital Thomastown in Co. Kilkenny recently joined in the implementation of the national “RESIST” hand hygiene campaign.

“RESIST” is the campaign branding for a number of hand hygiene and infection prevention and control initiatives under the National HSE Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control Programme (AMRIC). One of these initiatives is a rollout of the RESIST hand hygiene awareness programme to all residential care facilities and the long stay older persons care St. Columbas Hospital has partaken in this initiative.

The programme builds on the work already done to date by all healthcare facilities and healthcare workers in promoting and complying with hand hygiene standards. Hand hygiene has been at the forefront of all the initiatives that the HSE has been implementing to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other infections which can cause harm to care facility residents.

Speaking at the recent launch of the RESIST campaign in St. Columbas, Julie Meally (Clinical Nurse Specialist Infection Prevention and Control for Carlow/Kilkenny) said:

“As a programme, RESIST is aimed not just at those delivering care but at everyone who comes into a hospital or residential care facility, including patients and visitors. We will be intensifying the campaign across the South East over the coming months and are delighted that St. Columbas Hospital is promoting such an important programme.”

“When healthcare workers like nurses, care assistants, cleaning and catering staff, doctors and patients keep their hands clean, they help to prevent the spread of serious health care associated infections (HCAIs). These are infections that can happen in any healthcare service. In addition to healthcare workers and their need to clean their hands very regularly throughout their work, patients and visitors also play a part in reducing the spread of infection by following advice on hand decontamination.”

Also speaking at the launch, Catriona Kirwan (Director of Nursing, St. Columba’s Hospital, Thomastown) added:

“Here in St. Columbas Hospital there is an excellent record in hand hygiene. We are always, however, looking to improve our standards. The RESIST programme and the local IPCN and Link practitioners will help us to do that and we are delighted to have been selected to be part of the rollout in HSE residential care services.”

“Along with our own staff, our residents and visitors to Columba’s all have a role to play to help stop the spread of infections and join the superbug resistance. This programme will help us to refresh and energise our hand hygiene approach among both staff of the hospital and patients. The link nurses, our Hand Hygiene Trainers and our Infection Control Nurses help us to do this”.

“Residents can also play a big part in reducing the spread of infection. There are things we can encourage and assist the residents to do to protect themselves from picking up an infection or super bug: We are very conscious of the role of our antimicrobial pharmacists in making us very aware of proper use of antibiotics and antimicrobial stewardship.”

“To this end we can follow the guidelines:

• Clean your hands regularly, using the alcohol hand gel in the hospital.

• Clean your hands before you eat and wash your hands after you go to the toilet.

• Avoid sharing your personal things with other residents – for example, your phone.

• Do not let anyone sit on your bed and avoid sitting on other residents beds

• Remember it is OK to remind a staff member or your visitors to clean their hands

• It is OK to tell a staff member if you see anything that is not clean.



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