A nurse has just completed admission of patient to the medical-surgical unit. The nurse is providing information to the patients family about standard precautions and infection control. Which statement by the nurse is correct when teaching this family?


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- Hand hygiene is one of the most effective methods of preventing transmission of infectious substances.

- You should cover your mouth with the back of your hand when you cough and then wash your hands right away.

- If you rinse soiled clothing or bedding before the nurse makes the bed, you can reduce the risk of spread of infectious materials.

- The housekeeping staff will clean your room every day, so you do not need to worry about taking precautions to prevent spreading infections.


Healthcare workers often practice principles of infection control when caring for patients, but nurses should teach patients and their families about these principles as well. The nurse should teach patients that hand hygiene is a very effective measure in the prevention of the spread of infectious pathogens. If the patient cannot do anything else, he should at least be reminded to practice regular hand hygiene.

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