GET SMART ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS
All staff should know the basics about Antibiotic Stewardship Program in your facility. This is not limited to nursing staff, but must include housekeeping, administration, activities and dietary.
Antibiotics are lifesaving drugs that can help fend off bacterial infection, but you can have too much of a good thing. Inappropriate use of antibiotics can expose patients to unwanted risks of complications, such as Clostridium difficile (diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever) or a serious allergic reaction. Overuse can also cause antibiotic resistance, meaning your body can become drug resistant to prescription treatment.
In new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hospitals continue to use powerful antibiotics to fight infections, and bacteria grow increasingly immune to treatment. The study found that 55% of patients discharged received at least one dose of antibiotic during their hospital stay.
Federal regulation requires nursing homes to have an Antibiotic Stewardship Program and a nurse dedicated to the prevention and control of infections. The CDC website has excellent nursing home specific tools and information on Antibiotic Stewardship. A good first step is the Checklist found at http://www.cdc.gov/longtermcare/pdfs/core-elements-antibiotic-stewardship-checklist.pdf