Hospitals use isolation carts when working with patients that need to be isolated to avoid the spread of infectious diseases, pathogens, and microbes. These carts are fitted in patients’ rooms and are regularly refilled and sanitized, so they are readily available whenever they are needed.
In this article, we’ll cover all the essential items you should have in your isolation carts.
Things To Look For In Isolation Carts For Hospitals
Isolation carts play a critical role in ensuring that the isolated patients get all the necessary services on time without exposing medical staff to harmful pathogens. It’s the central supply depot’s responsibility to ensure that the hospital’s isolation carts are fully stocked with all the necessary supplies. Here are some essential supplies that every hospital isolation cart should have.
Gloves are designed to help healthcare providers protect themselves against infectious diseases and pathogens when attending to isolated patients. At times doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals will need to wear two layers of gloves for maximum protection, especially when handling patients with highly infectious diseases.
So it is crucial to make sure your isolation carts are fully stocked with enough gloves to last through the shift.
The best hospital isolation carts are stocked to carry enough masks for both patients and healthcare providers. These masks prevent the patient from spreading airborne and droplet infections while protecting the healthcare provider from being infected. Isolation carts also stock plastic face shields, although these are not as effective as facemasks in preventing the spread of droplet infections, as they are likely to allow tiny particles to pass since they are open at the top and are not flush with the face.
Since healthcare providers move from one patient room to another, their gowns are likely to carry germs and pathogens. That’s why they will need to change their gowns every time they come out of a patient’s room. This means that every isolation cart should be well-stocked with enough gowns that staff can easily grab a new one each time they need to enter a patient’s room.
Shoes are notorious for collecting germs and pathogens from the patient’s room. Therefore, you should cover your shoes adequately with shoe covers whenever you enter an isolation room. These covers should be removed and disposed of immediately after exiting the patient’s room to prevent germs from spreading to other parts of the facility.
Sometimes you will be required to wear a respirator, especially if the patient you are attending to suffers from a serious airborne illness. Airborne agents are microscopic and can easily pass through less protective material. That’s why you should always make sure your isolation carts are stocked with N-95 respirators, as they are designed to ensure that you do not inhale even the aerosolized nuclei.
As a healthcare giver, you should always sanitize your hands before and after interacting with a patient, even more so if the patient is in an isolation room. Although most hospital rooms have hand sanitizers mounted on the walls, it is vital to have your isolation cart stocked with additional hand sanitizer in case you forget to use the one at the door or if it’s empty.
It is important to note that a hospital isolation cart should be placed near the door so that you can easily access these supplies when you are walking in and out of the room.
Now that you know why isolation carts for hospitals are important and what they should have, you should ensure that your isolation carts are always fully stocked. You should also work in conjunction with your hospital’s central supply to ensure your carts are placed where they can easily be accessed.