There are specific challenges to every cleaning job for custodial crews. Nursing home cleaning is a tough assignment for inexperienced cleaning teams. Seniors living in long-term care facilities have weakened immune systems making them susceptible to infectious diseases and other sicknesses. Complete removal of contaminated soils and dirt from surfaces and floors is required to prevent the spread of disease and pathogens.
This post will help you understand the correct nursing home cleaning procedure, a checklist to ensure nothing is missed, and tips to maintain a germ-free space.
Proper Nursing Home Cleaning Procedures
Assisted living facilities and nursing home environments are required to address overall cleanliness with specific procedures and methods. This is to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness. A significant amount of patient traffic and healthcare personnel pass through healthcare facilities, such as nursing homes throughout the day.
They can carry a wide variety of bacteria, viruses, and germs. You should take adequate measures to fight the contaminants while ensuring your space is safe and clean. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has recommended a 7-step routine as the starting point for maintaining a clean and germ-free nursing home.
Cleaning and disinfection tasks should be performed daily. This is vital to reduce the risk of infections in a given space.
These are a few steps mentioned on the list:
- Emptying trash receptacles
- Spot cleaning walls
- Disinfecting horizontal surfaces
- Mopping floors
- Cleaning and disinfecting restrooms
The cleaning staff should also pick up any trash found on hard surfaces and floors. All frequently-touched areas should be disinfected regularly. This includes bed rails, door handles, and chair arms. The disinfectant used should be of high quality and EPA-certified to ensure that all germs and contaminants are eliminated.
Commercial cleaning contractors with experience in cleaning and disinfecting senior living facilities can be retained. This way you can ensure disease control through effective disinfection of resident rooms. Retirement homes and nursing homes in particular should consider working with commercial cleaners.
There are certain objects and areas in a nursing home that require special attention. For instance, if you have any resident using a wheelchair, you need to ensure that all handrails are disinfected multiple times a day. You may also want to have the wheelchair cleaned and disinfected.
Properly Cleaning Patient Rooms in a Nursing Home
Nursing homes are busy throughout the day. They can easily harbor and become a spreading ground for germs, viruses, and other contaminants. The cleaning crew should properly address every patient room daily. Specific cleaning solutions should be used that don’t just aesthetically clean a surface but removes all germs from the surface.
Cleaning should be performed using a checklist so that nothing gets missed. You should ensure that the cleaning crew doesn’t use the same rags, mops, and water in different patient rooms. This can spread germs around the entire long-term care facility.
Electrostatic cleaning is a great way of finalizing the overall patient room cleaning in nursing homes. This is the perfect way of ensuring that hard-to-reach places, tight spaces, and all types of surfaces are disinfected and made free of contaminants. Electrostatic spraying ensures that all vulnerable areas, objects, and items in a healthcare facility are made germ-free. However, it would be best if you used the right cleaning solution with it.
Staff members must be properly trained in using electrostatic sprayer equipment. Certain cleaning products cannot be used with the machine. Cleaning professionals have expertise in using such equipment and employ best practices to ensure a safe environment.
Nursing Home Cleaning Schedule and Checklist
A regular basis means performing certain tasks at set intervals. There are specific cleaning and disinfection tasks that need to be carried out on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. Residents of long-term care facilities with highly contagious illnesses should have their space disinfected on an hourly basis.
You may require frequent cleaning if there is a bacterial or viral outbreak in your facility. Facility managers or heads of housekeeping should work with the cleaning crew to establish a cleaning checklist. There are three primary cleaning frequencies – daily, weekly, and monthly.
It is recommended to perform these tasks with a natural disinfectant to avoid irritating elderly residents. You should avoid using harsh chemicals as a general guideline. Daily cleaning checklist includes:
- Scrub the surface of every patient/resident room several times a day
- Clean and sanitize frequent touchpoints, like cabinet handles, electronics, and light switches
- Place trash bags at the collection point
- Sweep and mop floors
- Vacuum carpets and doormats
- Move soiled and dirty clothes to the laundry room
- Clean spills and any other dirty surface
- Wash dirty dishes and all kitchen appliances
- Clean and disinfect toilets, sinks, tubs, showers, and countertops
- Weekly Cleaning
Certain things cannot be cleaned daily. These are addressed every week. In-depth cleaning is necessary to ensure doors, windows, and light fixtures are in a safe and working condition. The weekly nursing home checklist includes:
- Vacuuming carpets, sofas, and cushions
- Washing window blinds
- Avoiding mold, mildew, and clogs
- Cleaning bathroom drains and kitchens
- Cleaning storage areas of the kitchen, such are refrigerators, kitchen cabinets, cupboards, and pantries
- Checking bulbs and other fixtures
- Inspecting metal doors, door stops, hardware, and lock mechanisms
- Greasing or polishing the exterior of a glass door and the interior of glass room partitions and windows
The monthly cleaning schedule includes those tasks that take time. The monthly cleaning checklist includes:
- Exhaustively cleaning pantries, cupboards, cabinets, and appliances
- Waxing and buffing hardware floors
- Vacuuming and steam cleaning carpets and rugs
- Inspecting freshness and expiration date of food in pantries, cabinets, and refrigerators
- Checking and changing air grills and vents, including HVAC filters
- Inspecting fire sprinkler systems, light fixtures, smoke alarms, and ceiling fans
- Scrub down baseboards and walls if you notice signs of dampness on the wall
Tips to Ensure a Squeaky-Clean Nursing Home
Replace Outmoded Cleaning Devices
Rags, mops, and other similar cleaning tools spread germs. You need to take steps for avoiding cross-contamination. Employing no-touch cleaning systems for removing soil can ensure better cleaning. This is the best thing you can do to maintain a healthy space for your residents. After wiping it down, you should consider electrostatic spraying techniques for coating surfaces in a thin film of disinfectant.
Stress on Personal Protective Equipment
The cleaning crew of nursing homes frequently makes the serious mistake of using the same cleaning gloves in different rooms. This can cause germ transfers. Custodial teams should make sure they change gloves when cleaning different patient rooms or common areas. It is best to begin cleaning from the cleanest areas and move to the dirtier ones. It is important that the same rags and mops not be used in different rooms. This increases the risk of germs.
Appropriate Use of Cleaning Supplies
Make sure that germs are not spread via air during mopping and sweeping. For instance, incorrect rolling of bedsheets can cause allergens to spread from one place to another. This can irritate elderly residents. The laundry bag must be immediately tied with soiled clothes. Soil removers usually have harsh chemicals.
Effective Training for Cleaning Personnel
You may want to avoid these since elderly residents have breathing problems. The custodial crew needs to take preventative measures to stop the spread of germs through the air while cleaning the rooms and community areas. The cleaning solution you use should be effective enough to remove germs. At the same time, it should not be harsh. Fixture and floor care are important.
You can ensure that cleaning and disinfection are carried out properly by keeping the cleaning staff informed on such procedures and processes. The Health and safety of the cleaning crew are necessary as well. With the right techniques and systems, you can ensure a healthy environment.
The staff needs to be educated and trained when cleaning an assisted living residence or a nursing home. You should train an in-house cleaning crew on the proper usage of chemical solutions, their application, and the ways to kill germs properly. You should also train them on the stages and process of what and when to clean.
Consider Outsourcing Your Cleaning Requirements
Nursing home cleaning and disinfection is not something to be taken lightly. It involves complicated tasks. You may want to consider retaining the services of a capable and experienced cleaning contractor. This way you won’t need to train, maintain, or invest in an in-house cleaning crew. You can also be rest assured that bacteria, viruses, germs, and other pathogens are not posing a risk to the patients.
Contact an Experienced Nursing Home Facility Management Service
The professional cleaning staff at Servi-Tek is trained, insured, and bonded. We maintain the highest quality standards and are always OSHA-compliant when it comes to cleaning nursing homes. You can count on us to always prioritize the safety and health of your residents and staff through effective cleaning methods. Call us today at (866) 454-6185 or use our online form to schedule a quick appointment.