Nursing, Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

Environmental Safety and Infection Control

Topics

Subtopic

Clients with mobility problems: Clients who have mobility problems must have uncluttered space for movement and activity. This reduces the risk of falls and other accidents around the client, such as falling objects or a family member tripping and landing on the client. Make sure there is enough space for maneuvering a wheelchair or other assistive devices that your client uses to transfer, walk, or get to the bathroom safely.


Be familiar with all possible exits in case of an emergency: Be familiar with all possible exits in case of an emergency. Think about how you would get your client out. Know where the fire extinguishers are located, and the type of fires they are intended to extinguish.


Clean Space: Their space must be clean to reduce contagions such as bacteria and viruses. A clean environment will also help your client to feel more relaxed and happy. This is part of the comfort measures for your clients, which increases their quality of life, decreases stress, and minimizes accidents that can begin with a stressed and nervous patient.


Household Responsibilities: If you work for an agency, they will explain your household responsibilities. Most only require light housework that directly involves the client's care, but some situations are different. If an elderly, bedbound client is repeatedly mentioning the dust on her dresser, it is a good bet that the dirty dresser is a stressor for her. You have the autonomy as a PCA to dust the dresser to help your client feel more comfortable. Autonomy refers to decisions you can make on your own, without your supervisors permission.


Isolation Precautions: If the patient requires some type of isolation precautions, you will find instructions in the Care Plan. The plan of care is an important document that will keep you up to date on the care your client needs. Whether there is a nutritional deficit, mobility issues, or dementia, the Care Plan will give insight on how to give your patient the best possible care.


Knowledge about infections: The more knowledgeable you are about infection, the better you will be at preventing its spread. This keeps you, your clients, and the general population safer.