Three Things You Need to Know About Cleaning an Isolation Exam Room

Pets that have infectious diseases need to be treated differently than other patients, and that often times starts in the exam room. Learn tips from Technician Assistant Manager Megan Urton, to keep your patients and clients healthy.

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Patients with symptoms of parvovirus, respiratory infections, or any zoonotic diseases get attended to in our isolation room in order to protect our other patients and clients. After working with these cases, it’s important to know that cleaning an isolation exam room requires a different process than cleaning any other exam room. Test your cleaning knowledge and check the answers below!

 

QUESTIONS

Question 1: True or False?

Your patient in the isolation exam room has been determined as not an isolation case. Great! This means that you don’t need to do a full isolation clean in that isolation exam room.

Question 2: True or False?

Upper respiratory conditions should be considered isolation cases.

Question 3: True or False?

Isolation gowns and isolation laundry should not enter the ante room.

 

Also, did you know these are the most commonly missed places when cleaning an isolation room?

  • Sink handles, cabinet or drawer handles, and light switches
  • The underside of chairs/benches (animals like to hide under their owner’s legs)
  • Inside of the garbage cabinet (garbage can come in contact the inside walls of the cabinet)
  • Phone receiver and call buttons

 

ANSWERS

Question 1: False

Our isolation exam room is a room that is used for any patient that needs to be isolated from exposure to other patients. This includes immune-compromised patients, as well. This means that after ANY patient has been in the designated isolation exam room, a full isolation protocol cleaning needs to be completed to ensure safety of our vulnerable yet not contagious patients that might be using that room, too.

A normal exam room where we roomed a suspected isolation patient, who turned out to be a non-isolation case does not need to be isolation cleaned. Just a regular room turnaround will do as the patient did not have anything contagious and can now be treated as any other non-isolation (excluding immune-compromised) patient.

Question 2: True

Many places do not commonly use isolation protocol for URI’s, but everyone should! These conditions are very often contagious and are easily spread between patients. A cat sneezing, licking its paw and walking, or any other form of oral/nasal transmission can put other patients at risk. It’s important to work with teams at the front and back of the hospital when a patient has been diagnosed with a URI. Contaminated seating areas and non-isolation exam rooms should go through the same cleaning protocol as an isolation cleaning.

Question 3: True

The ante room is a clean room, meaning anyone should be able to enter or exit without coming into contact with harmful or zoonotic contaminants. Isolation personal protective equipment (PPE) has been exposed to the contagion just by entering the isolation exam room (even if you didn’t touch anything). The PPE needs to be treated the same as all of the other equipment and gear used for that case and left in the isolation room until proper disposal or cleaning. Keep in mind that additional PPE, not just gowns and laundry, are also not allowed in the ante room. Items like gloves, booties, or hair nets are also exposed to contaminants, and should be removed prior to entering the ante room.

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