The day-to-day activities of surveillance can best be handled by a sufficiently senior and experienced full-time nurse, with special training in hospital infection control activities. In very large hospitals, there should be at least one infection control nurse for every 250 beds.
Role of Infection Control Nurse:
She directly reports to the Infection Control Officer (ICO) and briefs him every day on occurrence of a case and related matters.
Early and complete reporting is the sheet anchor of any hospital infection control programme. Therefore, the infection control sister must be authorised to report any actual or suspected infection immediately, to initiate a culture and sensitivity test, institute appropriate isolation procedure if it so requires, and notify the physician in charge of the patient. She should also have direct access to the hospital administrator on matters of serious breaches of control practices discovered by her. Her activities will include the following: 1. Daily visit to all wards and patient holding units 2. Checking ward sister’s report register for tell-tale records suggestive of infection 3. Collection and tabulation of daily data of incidence of hospital infection.
Recorded data of all infections should include the type of infection, the cultures taken and the results (when known), any antibiotics administered, and the identity of the physician responsible for the care of the patient. 4. Ensuring that samples of blood, stool, sputum urine, and swab—as the case may be are collected and dispatched to the laboratory in time. Laboratory records are an important surveillance tool and data source.
The data is gathered by the infection control nurse during ward rounds. 5. Initiating the hospital infection control form while documenting for nosocomial infections, the registration form used should be different from the routine investigation forms, so that minimum time is wasted in getting the culture and sensitivity reports. 6. Compilation of ward wise, discipline wise or procedure wise statistics 7. Daily visit to laboratory to ascertain results of previous days samples 8.
Monitoring and supervision of infection among hospital staff 9. Training of nursing aides and paramedical personnel on correct use of hygiene practices and aseptic techniques 10. Assist in bacteriological studies of all cases.