Infection Prevention Week Recognizes Dedication to Stopping the Spread of Illness

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Southern NH Health’s Infection Prevention Department set up a booth outside the hospital cafeteria from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Oct. 18 to highlight the celebration of International Infection Prevention Week.

“COVID-19 continues to show the world what we’ve always known—infection preventionists play a crucial role in keeping our patients, visitors and staff safe and healthy,” said Southern NH Health Director of Infection Prevention Patricia “Patti” Benjamin. “In addition to fighting a global pandemic, infection prevention is protecting us from surges in healthcare-associated infections, measles outbreaks, flu season, and so many other day-to-day infectious battles.”

The Elliot established its Harm Reduction Heroes program earlier this year to celebrate the daily successes in infection prevention, said The Elliot Infection Prevention Officer Stephanie Szopa.

Infection preventionists work closely with staff to educate them on infection safety, including use of masks, gloves, proper protective gear when with patients and proper cleaning of rooms. Additionally, they work with other hospital agencies such as respiratory therapy. Screening tools such as surveys asking about possible exposure for patients and visitors are often updated.

 Now that autumn is here, Patti and Stephanie recommend flu shots as well as the COVID vaccine. “If anyone is experiencing symptoms, since it could be flu or COVID, the recommendation is to get tested,” Stephanie said.

 

Southern NH Health’s Infection Prevention Department outside the hospital cafeteria.