SSI From the Other Side of the Bed

Brenda Helms, MBA/HCM, BSN, RN, CIC

May 1, 2014


Brenda’s emphasized the costs to the patients when a surgical site infection occurs, using the experiences of a family member as an example.  Healthcare providers may recognize that surgical site infections extend the amount of hospitalization time and antibiotic use for patients, but often forget the devastation that can also result from loss of employment and income,  loss of self-sufficiency, loss of self-respect, loss of independence, and loss of self-esteem.  The depression that follows surgical site infections affects not only the functionality of the patient, but the family's well-being. 

Listening to the patient and family, and understanding their challenges is a major contribution that healthcare providers can provide to assist with recovery.  The work of the Infection Preventionist in minimizing risks for surgical site infections, as well as negative sequalae when infections do occur, is vital to the survival of the patient and family.