Infection Control in Skilled Nursing Facilities

The nursing home system faced the brunt of the damage during the pandemic.  Little was done to support caregivers in a meaningful way; in their struggle to keep residents safe, instead of relief, nurses were faced with ever-changing regulations and punitive measures.  Two years into the pandemic, nurses in the United States report feeling overwhelmed, stressed, frustrated, and undervalued.  Nurses are essential to infection control, and high-stress levels and increased workloads often lead health workers to skip simple practices like washing their hands.  More than half of nurses have considered or intend to leave their position in the next six months because of their treatment. 

Infection control is not a new problem facing the skilled nursing industry.  Before COVID-19, roughly 380,000 nursing home residents died due to infection annually.  Common infections in these facilities include urinary tract infections, influenza, skin and soft tissue infections, and respiratory infections.  Creating positive change in the industry starts with in-person support.  Developing and distributing new guidelines in print and online is not as effective.  With in-person recommendations, a specialist can observe a facility and build a plan to integrate basic infection control practices, working towards higher-level changes.  In-person support will help facilities learn more about the problems and solutions facing the nursing home system, ensuring a safe and healthy future for an industry that will touch all of our lives eventually.

Infection Control: The Future of Skilled Nursing

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.