Reply To: Designated stethoscopes on Oncology/SCT units

  • Patricia Conlon

    Member
    February 10, 2022 at 9:43 am

    Does your unit provide designated stethoscopes? If so, what lead to this decision?
    No staff own their own and prefer it as better quality
    We do have hospital provided ones for isolation which are disposable

    Following implementation, has your area noticed a drop in HACs such as C.Diff and MBIs?
    No, this has been our practice for years

    Does your area have a process for tracking the designated stethoscopes?

    If your unit allows the use of personal stethoscopes, does your unit have a cleaning process?

    Yes, they need to be cleaned before and after every use on a patient. Staff usually use hosp grade disinfectant or an alcohol wipe to wipe down after use

    Are there concerns regarding the risk of using of personal stethoscopes and HACs such as C.Diff or MBIs? 
    Not if appropriate cleaning occurs

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    Patricia Conlon, APRN, CNS
    Pediatric Clinical Nurse Specialist
    Mayo Clinic Children’s Center
    Rochester, MN
    Conlon.patricia@mayo.edu
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    Original Message:
    Sent: 02-09-2022 12:19 PM
    From: Brandon Porter
    Subject: Designated stethoscopes on Oncology/SCT units

    Hello everyone,

    Hope all is well. I am reaching out to gather feedback from this group regarding designated stethoscopes or the lack thereof on Oncology/Transplant units. Currently, I manage a 49 bed Heme/Onc/SCT unit, and each room has a designated stethoscope purchased by the unit. However, overtime it has become fiscally burdensome as we are continuously having to replace lost or misplaced stethoscopes. And so, as a unit, we made the decision to have staff purchase their own stethoscopes for use with patients on standard precautions. The unit would continue to provide stethoscopes for patients on isolation precautions.

    Being that this was a significant change for the unit, staff pushed back citing concerns of cross contamination. Unfortunately, over the years our unit’s trends of Hospital acquired conditions (HAC) remain consistent despite our best efforts. And so, I’m not sure if having the designated stethoscopes has helped to lessen our HAC numbers as we have most recently seen a spike in C. Diff. Nonetheless, in response to staff we developed a cleaning process. However, staff continue to voice their concerns around infection risks. When I worked bedside on a pediatric oncology unit, staff used personal stethoscopes. Everyone was quite diligent with cleaning before and after use. As I can recall, we never had issues with HACs that could be linked to the use of personal stethoscopes. 

     

    Here are my questions for the group:

    Does your unit provide designated stethoscopes? If so, what lead to this decision?

    Following implementation, has your area noticed a drop in HACs such as C.Diff and MBIs?

    Does your area have a process for tracking the designated stethoscopes?

    If your unit allows the use of personal stethoscopes, does your unit have a cleaning process?

    Are there concerns regarding the risk of using of personal stethoscopes and HACs such as C.Diff or MBIs? 

    Kindest regards,
    Brandon P

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    Brandon B. Porter, MSN, CNML
    Nurse Manager
    St. Jude Children’s
    Memphis, TN
    United States
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