Universal precautions were developed in the 1980’s as a means of avoiding contact with blood-borne (carried in the blood) “pathogens” or infections. The method used was wearing nonporous gloves to avoid contact with any and all blood; all patients were assumed to be infected.
- Since that time, “universal” has been expanded to “standard” precautions covering more body fluids and more body sites: blood, secretions (eyes, nose, ears, mouth), excretions (vomit, urine, and feces), non-intact skin, mucous membranes. Standard precautions must now be observed for all clients at all times in all contacts.
- Because the administration of medication by some routes will involve physical contact with body sites, it is important for QMAP’s to routinely follow standard precautions with clients during the administration of medications.
- Important Infection Control Concepts during the Administration of Medication
- Use sanitary technique when pouring or preparing medications into an appropriate container
- Do not touch or handle medications, but pour medication from the original medication container into a new, appropriate medication container; give the new container to resident
- Never use your own hands to administer medications and never require the resident to have to use his/her own hands to receive medications
- Wear gloves when there may be exposure to bodily fluids or mucus membranes, such as the vagina, rectum, inside of the nose, and the eyes;
- Wash hands with soap and water, or with an alcohol-based hand rub if hands are not visibly soiled or if there has been no contact with bodily fluids;
- Wash hands before and after removal of gloves;
- Wash hands before and after using shared medical equipment.