Every nursing home presents its own unique set of challenges. Since these facilities house residents with immune systems that are susceptible to illnesses, some special considerations must be included when developing a cleaning routine. To help you get started, read on to learn how to clean a nursing home properly.
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One of the main priorities of all cleaning professionals in nursing homes is avoiding cross-contamination. That is, spreading germs from one patient or area to another. Adhering to the guidelines of a proper cleaning program can ensure this doesn’t happen. Here’s how to get started.
One Room at a Time
Cross-contamination can unintentionally occur when materials like cleaning cloths, towels, and mops spread germs from one area of the nursing home to another. One of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent this is to swap out all cleaning cloths between resident rooms as you move to other areas of the home. Color-coded towels are also a great idea, as you can assign colors to specific cleaning duties.
While it’s not realistic to change mop heads between every single room each day, they should be thoroughly disinfected in between rooms with fresh water that contains bleach or another freshly added disinfectant. Reusing mop water and rags across rooms causes the risk of cross-contamination to skyrocket.
Chemical Irritants in Cleaning Solutions and Nursing Homes
Cleaning professionals must make sure that the removal of dirt and grime doesn’t come at the expense of the comfort of your residents. While bleach might be okay to use in areas in which residents are not usually present, it often cannot be used in their personal rooms. Many nursing home residents have respiratory issues, so the use of harsh chemicals must be limited, and alternatives need to be sought. Abrasive chemicals can also prompt allergic reactions, eye irritation, skin discomfort, headaches, and other problems that must be avoided for health and safety reasons.
General Cleaning Considerations for Nursing Homes
Nursing home cleaning should always be completed with the help of a checklist to ensure nothing is missed. Locations that are occupied frequently should be cleaned daily and also whenever they are visibly soiled. Areas that are only occupied a couple of times a week can be cleaned less frequently.
Spreading germs through the air is also a concern, so care must be taken to roll bedsheets away from cleaning personnel in each room. Gloves should always be worn at all times by cleaning personnel while disinfecting and cleaning are taking place. When trash bags are changed, they should be knotted at the top and disposed of without the air inside of them being released.
Cleaning supplies used in the personal rooms of residents should never be used to clean common areas!
Always start at the top areas of a room and work your way down. This ensures that contaminants and dirt don’t fall from heights down to surfaces that have already been cleaned.
Objects, items, and areas that are low-touch surfaces should be cleaned before high-touch surfaces. These are areas that have minimal human contact and include things like mirrors, window sills, walls, and wall decor. High-touch surfaces, in contrast, include light switches, patient tables, and doorknobs.
Best Practices for Cleaning Nursing Home Facilities
Some of the most common recommendations set by the CDC for properly cleaning nursing homes include the following:
- All cleaning and disinfecting solutions must be labeled and dated
- All solutions must be kept in covered containers under supervision
- Appropriate PPE must be worn, and hand hygiene must be performed
- Work on cleaner surfaces first before moving to dirtier surfaces
- Always work systematically to avoid missing surfaces
- Discard unused cleaning solution once cleaning sessions are finished
Following the best practices is one of the best ways to limit the spread of germs and make sure environments are cleaned thoroughly!
A Note about Disinfectants
Disinfecting products, which are different from cleaning products, should remain on the surface for the appropriate amount of time needed to kill germs. Different products have different “kill” or “contact” times, which range anywhere from 15 seconds to 10 minutes. Don’t try to speed up drying times, and ensure surfaces remain visibly wet for the entire time. Read product labels to confirm contact times.
Contact the Experts for Nursing Home Cleaning
When it’s time to bring in help to keep your nursing home clean and safe for everyone, look to our professional cleaning team to make sure it’s done according to the highest standards. Contact 360clean today for a free estimate on our services!