Isolation Precautions

A Guide for Patients and Families

What You Should Know About Isolation Precautions

Thank you for choosing Woman’s Hospital for your care. For your protection, you or your family member is being placed on isolation precautions because of an illness or condition that can be spread to others. We need your help in following some simple guidelines during your stay at Woman’s.

  • Patients must stay in their rooms unless being transported to another area of the hospital for a test or procedure.
  • Limit visits as much as possible to close family members while the patient is on isolation precautions.
  • Children under the age of 12 should be discouraged from visiting.
  • Follow the directions on the isolation information card posted on the room door. Always check with your nurse if you do not understand the instructions.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use the alcohol hand gel located in the room when entering and leaving the patient’s room.
  • If you wish to speak with a member of the hospital infection prevention team, please let your doctor or nurse know.

Airborne Precautions

Airborne precautions are required for patients with illnesses that can be spread to others if they inhale the infectious microscopic particles that the patient creates when he or she coughs, sneezes or talks. Examples of airborne illnesses are chicken pox or tuberculosis.

  • Healthcare workers and all visitors must wear specific respiratory protection (N-95 respirator masks) to avoid infection. There are exceptions for some diseases to which healthcare workers or visitors may be immune such as Chicken Pox.
  • Wash your hands or use alcohol hand gel each time you enter or leave the room.
  • Limit your trips outside the room. Be sure to always close the door behind you.
  • Check with a nurse before taking items in or out of the room.

Droplet Precautions

Droplet precautions are required when a patient has an illness that is spread by germs in large respiratory droplets. These droplets are produced by sneezing or coughing into another’s eyes, nose or mouth, or handling or touching objects that have these particles on them. The common cold and flu are examples of illnesses spread by droplet exposure.

  • Wash your hands before entering and when leaving the room.
  • All visitors are required to wear a surgical mask when entering the patient room and the entire time they are inside the room.
  • Remove your mask by using the ear loops or tie strings after exiting the patient room. Do not touch the front (face piece) of the mask, as the front of the mask is dirty with droplet germs.
  • Check with a nurse before taking items in or out of the room.

Contact Precautions

Contact precautions are required when germs from a patient are spread by skin-to-skin contact or by handling or rubbing against personal items and objects that may have these germs on them, including clothing and linens.

  • Wash your hands before entering and leaving the room.
  • Before entering the patient room:
    • Put on a clean pair of gloves
    • Put on a clean cover gown
  • Gloves and gowns may be referred to as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are used because your clothing and hands may have contact with the patient, environmental surfaces (chairs, tables, countertops, etc) or the patient’s bed linen.
  • Before exiting the patient room:
    • Remove your gloves and gown. Place them in the trash can inside the room; Remember to wash your hands or apply alcohol hand gel after gown and glove removal.
    • Always check with the nurse before taking items in or out of the room.

Thank you for helping us prevent the spread of germs by:

  • Following the simple guidelines listed on this page.
  • Expecting all healthcare workers to follow these same guidelines.
  • Asking all healthcare workers caring for you or your loved one if they have washed or sanitized their hands before touching you.

Always remember Respiratory Etiquette…

  • Cover your mouth or nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing, or cough/sneeze into your elbow.
  • Ask for a mask, if needed.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol hand sanitizer often.