Clinical skills for preparation of the patient and clinical environment

Chapter 5 Clinical skills for preparation of the patient and clinical environment



A disease is a condition causing symptoms of an illness, which occurs when cells or molecules within the body stop functioning properly. For example, a disease can be caused through aging, the effects of chemicals, or arise from gene mutation/alteration.

There are four main groups of pathogenic organism which can cause diseases, some of which are harmless to the host when sited in the correct place; for example there are organisms living in the bowel which cause infection when they enter the urinary or respiratory tracts.


An infection occurs when other organisms, e.g. bacteria, viruses, fungi or protozoa, enter or come into contact with the body and multiply. The organisms can cause direct damage or prompt an immune response, which causes symptoms to manifest, e.g. fever.

Infections can be:

The cross transfer of a pathogenic organism from one individual to another (cross-infection) can occur in the following ways:

Therefore, it is essential that the equipment, environment and healthcare professional are subject to varying levels of cleanliness dependent on the clinical requirement (Table 5.1). There arethree main levels of cleanliness that exist with regards to equipment and surfaces: clean, disinfected and sterilised.

Table 5.1 The purpose and contraindications of cleansing agents

Cleaning agents Purpose in department Contraindications for use
Chlorhexidine gluconate solution 2.5% For cleansing the skin prior to a procedure Not for hard surfaces
Chlorhexidine gluconate 0.015%, cetrimide 0.15% (e.g. Savlon/Tisept/Sterets)

Not for hard surfaces or open wounds
Chlorhexidine gluconate solution 2.5% (e.g Hibiscrub)

Detergent, sanitiser, blue bleach powder (sodium hypochlorite) For body fluids and spillages Not for skin
Cleansing foam (e.g. Esemtan) Antimicrobial deodorising foam Not for hard surfaces, floors, etc.
Povidone iodine 7.5% (e.g. Videne antiseptic solution) A rapid acting non-irritating aqueous iodine solution For skin only. Not for hard surfaces, floors, etc.
Alcohol impregnated wipes For hard surfaces and skin Not for open wounds
Sodium chloride 0.9% solution For skin and open wounds None
‘Decon’ For neutralising radioactive spills None

Feb 20, 2016 | Posted by in GENERAL RADIOLOGY | Comments Off on Clinical skills for preparation of the patient and clinical environment
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