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VA San Diego Healthcare System


Infection Prevention at your Local VA Medical Center

washing hands
Monday, October 22, 2012

VA San Diego Healthcare System's top priority is to provide Veterans with the highest quality health care in a safe environment.  Infection prevention requires a partnership between hospital staff and patients.

At VA San Diego Healthcare System, patients and staff can reduce the spread of harmful germs by taking the following precautions:

Wash your hands: “For patients and staff, the universal way to prevent infection has been to wash your hands before and after touching someone,” said Grace Kirkland, Infection Control Nurse for the San Diego VA Medical Center.  Aside from soap dispensers in the restrooms, alcohol sanitizers are available at the elevators, at the entrances and inside and out of every patient room, excluding the psychiatry wing.  Sinks are also available inside and out of patient rooms.

Cover your nose and mouth when you cough: “When coughing or sneezing, use the pit of your elbow rather than your hand,” said Kirkland.  “That way you don’t transmit infection to your hand.  If you need to use a tissue or handkerchief, wash your hands afterward.”  Cough etiquette stations are located at all the main entrances and include hand gel, tissues and masks.

Get Vaccinated often: Especially yearly flu shots.

When sick with the flu or have a cold: Stay home! Visitors who are sick are highly encouraged to call their loved ones, rather than visit.

To learn more about protecting patients and staff, visit:


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