The importance of universal and additional precautions in regard to infection control has become abundantly clear during the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s why three Ultrasound students at Michener’s School of Applied Health Sciences wrote a literature review exploring this topic that is being published by the Canadian Journal of Medical Sonography (CJMS).
Second year students Nicole Marley, Raquel Teichroeb and X Fatima Tul Zahra began their review at the end of May as part of their Evidence Based Approach to Clinical Practice course.
“While the current relevance of universal precautions and infection prevention drove us to choose this topic, we were also interested in it because it’s directly applicable to our practice in our clinical placements which started this September,” says Raquel. “More specifically, we focused on information directly relevant to sonography since there was a lack of research in this area.”
The focus of their review was to critically analyze best evidence-based practices by outlining recommended disinfection protocols for ultrasound devices and the environment. Grey literature (materials and research produced by organizations outside of the traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels) such as government and public health websites were the main sources of information, in addition to peer-reviewed literature reviews and best practice guidelines for ultrasound and infection control.
“We wanted to be knowledgeable about standard protocols and understand how the healthcare system was adapting new and constantly improving guidelines specific to this pandemic,” says Zahra. “The pandemic created many challenges, especially for diagnostic imaging services, and since we are in close contact with patients daily, it is essential to reduce transmission and exposure.”
After completing the paper in August, the students’ instructors were so impressed that they encouraged them to submit it to the CJMS. The paper will appear in the upcoming Winter 2020 edition (volume 11, issue 4).
“Evidence-based practice makes patient-centered care more effective and dynamic by constantly testing and adapting practices to adhere to the most current literature,” says Nicole. “It’s extremely important to know what precautions are proven effective to protect both patients and sonographers.”