When you go into a hospital or other healthcare setting to receive care, you become vulnerable to catching infections. But the good news is that patients, their families, and other visitors can take steps to prevent infections by simply knowing the top 10 infection prevention basics!

Learn how patients and families can break the chain of infection in healthcare settings.

You're an important part of infection prevention

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Here are the top 10 things you can do:

  1. Speak up for your care and ask plenty of questions when you go into any healthcare facility. Don’t be shy.
  2. Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer often.
  3. Ask about safe injection practices. Remember: One needle, one syringe, only one time.
  4. Ask to have your room cleaned if it looks dirty.
  5. Ask questions about the medications that are prescribed to you. Know what they are for, how to take them, and how often you should take them. If you are prescribed antibiotics, take all of them—even if you start to feel better.
  6. Ask if you should shower with a germ killing soap before having surgery.
  7. Ask each day if you still need a catheter.
  8. Ask about vaccines you need to stay healthy.
  9. Know about infection preventionists. These “germ sleuths” work every day to protect you. They use their detective skills to find the bad germs and keep them from making you sick.
  10. Become familiar with healthcare-associated infections. HAIs are infections that patients can get while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions.

It’s also important to know how to be a good visitor!

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