Infections, Nutrition and Food Safety
In this module you studied the following:
Carers need an understanding of the ailments and illnesses that they may encounter, how to treat them, and how to prevent their spread.
Preventing the spread of disease depends on how the disease is transmitted and the source of the infection. Carers need to constantly keep this in mind.
Bloodborne pathogens are disease-causing microorganisms present in human blood or other potentially infectious material, such as saliva or other fluids.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a life-threatening pathogen. Almost 8,700 health care workers each year contract hepatitis B, and about 200 will die as a result.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV), found in the blood of persons infected with this disease – it is not always a fatal disease.
Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which diminishes the body’s ability to fight disease.
Good nutrition is important in the care of ill and frail persons. It speeds up healing, recovery from illness, and helps maintain health of the individual.
An adequate amount of daily water intake is by far the most important of all the dietary requirements for the body and is essential to life and hydration.
Dry skin, dark or concentrated urine and less sweating are signs of dehydration.
Standard client rights dictate that each client has the choice of which foods to eat and the choice of what times that those foods will be eaten.
As a carer worker, you must be aware of the range of cultural and religious issues that can influence the foods that your clients may eat or avoid.
Foodborne illness is transmitted to people by food or beverages, sometimes called food poisoning.
The bacteria in unsafe food are hard to detect. Often the individual cannot see, smell or taste the bacteria and may take up to six weeks to cause illness.
Washing your hands by using the correct procedure before preparing food for your client is very important – failure to do so could put their health at risk.
Prepackaged salads and other vegetables that are not cooked before eating are considered to be a current leading source of foodborne illness.
It is NOT a safe practice to thaw meat, poultry or fish on the kitchen counter. This is because bacteria can multiply rapidly at room temperature.
At room temperature, bacteria in food can double every 20 minutes.
Refrigerated leftovers need to be thrown out after a period of three days.
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