How to write a nursing essay on Healthcare-Acquired Infections

How to write a nursing essay on Healthcare-Acquired Infections

There has been a long understanding that healthcare delivery can do harm as well as good to patients. Healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) represent one of the ways patients can fail to benefit from care delivered during hospitalization. HCAIs represent nosocomially acquired infections that are often not present during the admission of patients (Haque et al., 2018). These infections can have devastating emotional, physical, and financial effects on patients making their prevention a crucial aspect of healthcare organizations. With the increasing use of invasive devices and procedures to help patients, it is possible that infections can develop. Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are among the most common hospital-acquired infections today. This project focuses on the issue of central line-associated infection prevention and its significance to patients and healthcare organizations.

Hospital-acquired infections are a huge deal in the healthcare system that result in poor quality of care along with worsening patient conditions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2019), these infections result in thousands of deaths each year and billions of dollars are added costs. The majority, if not all of these infections can be prevented using guidelines and well-designed organizational tools. Healthcare procedures can leave individuals vulnerable to germs that cause HCAIs and these germs spread across patients on unclean hands or ineffective use of equipment (Haque et al., 2018). Patients on central lines are no exception because they get attended by multiple healthcare providers putting them at risk of infection. Addressing this issue can be a huge step toward improving patient outcomes and minimizing harm.

A central line is a catheter placed into a patient’s large vein for purposes of medication or nutrition. While these lines can be life-saving, they can be a source of serious health problems for hospitalized individuals. Estimates show that each year about 41,000 bloodstream infections result from contaminated central lines (Bell & O’Grady, 2017). After working on the surgical floor for some time, I have experienced the importance of preventing hospital-acquired infections like CLABSI. For example, patients who get infected require close monitoring and this puts more pressure on the already overstretched nursing staff. The hospital has to spend more resources including time to manage patients who get infected and this puts more pressure on managers. Additionally, acquired infections mean that patients have to spend more and stay for prolonged periods until recovery. Addressing the issue of CLABSI is therefore beneficial to patients, healthcare providers, and the organization at large.

The prevention of hospital-acquired infections is one of the most important areas of focus in healthcare organizations. CLABSIs are no exception because they have a significant impact on patients and the organization. This project aims at evaluating the prevention of IV or CLABSI using Curos caps versus scrubbing the hubs or IV ports. Curos caps are designed to protect the ends of certain central venous IV lines, especially in a patient receiving long-term antibiotics or fluids. These caps work by protecting the entry point of microorganisms that cause infection (Bell & O’Grady, 2017). Apart from this strategy, healthcare providers may use the scrubbing approach where the ports are cleaned with approved antiseptics before they are accessed. This project aims at comparing the two approaches to CLABSI prevention. This project will provide insight into the most appropriate approach to use when preventing IV lines or central lines from infection.

 Overview of the Problem

Every day, patients get infections in the hospital while being treated for something else. HCAIs represent infections that patients acquire while receiving care and they first appear within 48 hours or more of hospitalization (Kopsidas et al., 2021). These infections can also include those developing within 30 days of receiving healthcare. According to studies, healthcare-associated infections are the most common types of adverse events affecting hospitalized patients alongside adverse drug events, surgical complications, and patient falls (CDC, 2019). The CDC highlights the most common hospital-acquired infections and this include (CLABSI), catheter-associated urinary tract infections (CAUTI), and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) (CDC, 2019). In my healthcare organization, healthcare-associated infections are not a new thing. Having worked on the medical floor, I have observed the burden that these infections pose to the patients, providers, and the organization. Their prevention can be an important step towards maintaining quality and achieving patient safety.

Intravenous lines and central lines are life-saving devices used in hospitalized patients but can be a source of infection if not well-managed. These devices provide access to initiate treatment, obtain blood for tests, and in other cases for nutrition like in the case of central lines. There has been a long understanding that infections originating from these invasive devices can cause harm to patients including death. Research establishes that nearly 1.7 million patients annually acquire HCAIs and more than 98000 die due to infection (Kopsidas et al., 2021). Nationally, HCAIs are a threat to the well-being of hospitalized patients because they are among the top 10 causes of death. The economic impact of these infections is another area that has been reviewed on multiple occasions. Whether CLABIs or other infections, HCAIs need to be prevented and kept at a minimum level in all healthcare organizations nationally and internationally.

Healthcare-associated infections like CLABSIs occur when germs enter the bloodstream through IV or central lines. The causes of these infections are multifactorial, but the majority are preventable. For instance, hand hygiene is the single most important practice to prevent HCAIS (CDC, 2019). Taking only a few seconds to clean hands saves lives and reduces morbidity. Factors like the availability of alcohol-based hand rub, enough hand washing points, and to some extent time make it difficult to practice hand hygiene. For this reason, alternative approaches must be used to ensure infections are minimized during patient care. Intravenous and central line-associated infections occur frequently in my healthcare organization and their prevention using alternative strategies can improve patient outcomes.

The area of HCAIs like CLABSIs is worth exploring because of the significant effects posed to patients and healthcare organizations. The migration from volume to value-based care requires healthcare organizations to provide services that are of high quality with minimal costs. Hospital-acquired infections are routinely monitored by agencies like National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to improve patient safety (Haque et al., 2017). This topic is worth exploring because it affects patient outcomes and issues like cost in healthcare. For example, CLABSI is the most costly healthcare-associated infection accounting for approximately $46,000 per case (Bell & O’Grady, 2017). This project can contribute to lowering costs associated with HCAIs in the institution by ensuring healthcare providers effectively prevent CLABSIs using evidence-based interventions. This project provides the organization with an opportunity to improve the quality of care given to patients and address issues with patient satisfaction that result from increased rates of HCAIs.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2019). Healthcare-associated infections (HAIS): Patient safety.

Bell, T., & O’Grady, N. P. (2017). Prevention of Central Line-Associated Bloodstream Infections. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America31(3), 551–559.

Haque, M., Sartelli, M., McKimm, J., & Abu Bakar, M. (2018). Health care-associated infections – An overview. Infection and Drug Resistance11, 2321–2333.

Kopsidas, I., Collins, M., & Zaoutis, T. (2021). Healthcare-associated Infections—Can we do better?. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal40(8), e305-e309.

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