This Policy will define the Organization’s philosophy towards ensuring the protection of Care Staff from infections that may be encountered as part of their care duties:
1. The principles of Infection Control, including the prevention of infections, form an integral and important part of staff training programmes. Staff are made aware of the likely sources of infections that can arise within the Domiciliary Care environment, and the procedures to be followed to protect themselves from infection or contamination. This is not only considered to be a critical part of Occupational Health & Safety, but also to ensure the safeguarding of vulnerable service users from infections that may be spread by a contaminated Care Worker.
2. There are specific procedures and policies in place to address specific infection issues (ref. Policy Nos 4200 to 4299), but on a general basis, the following general measures must be observed to protect the Care Worker from contamination / infection during the course of their duties:
2.1 Ensuring appropriate immunisations:
Annual vaccinations against influenza, which will include anti-viral if influenza is contracted.
BCG vaccinations for Care Workers in contact with the service user with tuberculosis.
Hepatitis B vaccinations for Care Workers in contact with body fluids, including blood.
Varicella vaccinations for Care Workers who may have a history of chickenpox.
2.2 Ref Policy No 4001, ensuring the correct use and handling of personal protective equipment, including disposable gloves and aprons.
2.3 Ensuring that open cuts and abrasions are properly and hygienically covered, and that open footwear is not worn.
2.4 Observing proper procedures when dealing with spillages of body fluids, ref Policy No 4208.
2.5 Observing proper hand-washing procedures, ref Policy No 4207.
2.6 Understanding and following the procedures to be followed in the event of an accident or injury to the Care Worker during the course of their duties. Policy No 4106 refers.