Explain the reasons for an effective infection control policy and discuss whether the current method of cleansing and sterilization should be favoured over the use of disposable instruments.
The infection control policy for providing foot care advocates the utilization of disposable pads, soap, washcloth, toenail trimming equipment and antiseptic lotion (Audrey, 2008, p. 761). Indeed, the infection control measures warranted for treating the infected toenails configured after performing skin assessment in terms of evaluating its cleanliness and order, and the infected lesions requiring sterilization intervention. The evidence based clinical literature emphasizes the significance of effective control measures for patients affected with poor healing mechanism and susceptible to developing bacterial or fungal infestations (Milady, 2015, p. 267).
V.T (2014, p. 19) explains the sustainability of toenail infection in the absence of antiseptic management. Shaw and Cummings (2012, p. 276) explain the prevalence of candida infections among diabetic population requiring treatment and prophylactic interventions for reducing the toenail manifestations. The infections including onychomycosis and intertrigo increase the risk of developing abscess among diabetic population and therefore, require topical antiseptic treatment for tenure of three months to facilitate adequate healing. The evidence based clinical literature reveals the prevalence of tinea pedis infection concomitantly with the occurrence of toenail infection requiring antimycotic therapy in the clinical setting (Parish et al., 2011, p. 250). The research findings indicate the sustainability of toenail fungal infection among elderly individuals warranting the acquisition of infection control measures including hand hygiene and antiseptic treatment for challenging the progression of mycotic infestation (Berman et al., 2015, p. 653).
The sanitization techniques for preventing toenail infection include the utilization of rubbing alcohol, barbicide, bleach, ultraviolet light and other hospital disinfectants. Vonhof (2011, p. 312) reveals the effectiveness of rubbing alcohol in inducing the normal growth of the infected toenail. V.T. (p. 19) further explains the effectiveness of vinegar, tea tree oil solution and bleach water in terms of their antimycotic properties; however, these topical solutions require more than 6 months duration for removing the toenail fungus as evidenced by the academic literature. Baran and Rigopoulos (2012, p. 113) explains the treatment of foot and infected/ingrown toenail with the application of povidone iodine and potassium permanganate prior to the gutter-splint intervention.
Indeed, the disposable instruments required in sterilizing the infected toenails include paper towel, emery boards, rotary tool disks and orange sticks. These instruments utilized for one-time use add to the convenience of caregivers while treating the toenail infections; however, they do not prove to be cost effective solutions while providing daily care to the infected toenail (Vidimos, Ammirati and Poblete-Lopez, 2009, p. 59). Contrarily, the non-disposable instruments extend their capacity in terms of reusability following their effective sterilization. For example, the utilization of disposable curettes, scalpels, gradle scissors and forceps offer benefits in terms of cost reduction and ease in handling as compared to the disposable instruments. The physicians get a better feel while handling these reusable instruments in terms of their dullness and physical weight that proportionately assists them in disinfecting and cleansing different tissue types pertaining to variable consistencies. Therefore, the methods employing conventional techniques including autoclave and antiseptics with the effective utilization of reusable instruments prove to be the more efficient interventions in terms of their execution, better treatment outcomes and cost-effectiveness for accomplishing the clinical goal of controlling and preventing toenail infections.
Audrey, B., 2008. Kozier and Erb's Fundamentals of Nursing: Concepts, Process, and Practice (8th ed). Delhi: Dorling – Kindersley.
Baran, R. and Rigopoulos, D., 2012. Nail Therapies. USA: CRC
Berman, A., Snyder, S.J., Kozier, B., Erb, G.L., Levett-Jones, T., Dwyer, T., Hales, M., Harvey, N., Moxham, L., Park, TC., Parker, B., Reid-Searl, K. and Stanley, D., 2015. Kozier & Erb's Fundamentals of Nursing Australian Edition. Australia: Pearson.
Milady., 2015. Milady Standard Nail Technology. New York: Cengage.
Parish, L.C., Brenner, S., Ramos-e-Silva, M. and Parish, J.L., 2011. Manual of Gender Dermatology. USA: Jones & Bartlett.
Shaw, K.M. and Cummings, M.H., 2012. Diabetes Chronic Complications. UK: Wiley – Blackwell.
Vidimos, A.T., Ammirati,C.T. and Poblete-Lopez, C., 2009. Dermatologic Surgery. Philadelphia: Saunders – Elsevier.
Vonhof, J., 2011. Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes. USA: Wilderness.
V.T., 2014. Nail Fungus Immediate Cure. USA: VT.
V.T., 2014a. Nail Fungus Immediate Cure. USA: VT.
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