Brookhaven Retreat Celebrates Infection Prevention Week

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Brookhaven Retreat, a unique residential treatment facility exclusively for women with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, focuses on infection prevention on October 20-26 by increasing awareness of hand washing and flu prevention.

Cold and flu season has arrived. Germs can spread rapidly in a residential setting, making infection control procedures critical during this time of year. During Infection Prevention Week, Brookhaven Retreat focuses on increasing staff awareness of its recommended flu shot and hand washing procedures.

The CDC states that hand hygiene is one of the most important precautions against spreading disease. It recommends washing hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. Brookhaven Retreat’s Infection Control Committee implements safety procedures that prevent the spread of colds and other more serious infectious diseases. It requires all staff to wash their hands for one to two minutes whenever needed to prevent the transmission of pathogenic organisms among clients and staff.

The CDC also reports that receiving a flu vaccine is the single most effective way to prevent the flu. It recommends receiving a flu vaccine annually in October, as most influenza outbreaks begin in October. Because the body takes two weeks to develop the antibodies that protect against the flu, it is recommended that the flu vaccine be taken earlier in the season.

Good hand hygiene, balanced diet, exercise and proper sleep all protect the body’s immune system, but receiving the flu vaccine protects others from germs that even the best immune system might not keep at bay. Each autumn, Brookhaven Retreat supplements its care and safety procedures with an awareness campaign that encourages all employees to receive the flu vaccine.

Continual efforts to prevent the spread of infection keep women safe and allow mental health treatment to proceed unhindered by health concerns. Brookhaven Retreat’s annual flu vaccine and hand washing campaigns are part of a larger effort that maintains the highest standards of cleanliness and safety in its facility. Other efforts include daily disinfection of all doorknobs, keyboards, telephones and work surfaces; placement of hand sanitizing stations throughout the facility; monitoring of hand washing techniques; routine tuberculosis testing and latex glove use when handling any type of biohazard material.

Infection control procedures maintain the highest standards of patient care and enable women in Brookhaven Retreat’s treatment facility to focus on recovery while having their safety needs carefully met. On October 20-26, all staff members were encouraged to participate in maintaining the safety of the facility by receiving a free influenza vaccine.

About Brookhaven Retreat
Brookhaven Retreat is a women's treatment center nestled on a naturally beautiful 48-acre site secluded in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has helped hundreds of women across the United States overcome depression, trauma, anxiety, substance use and a range of other behavioral health challenges. Brookhaven’s Founder, Jacqueline Dawes, has predicated its gender-specific treatment on “healing emotional breakage” for women. In this way, she has established a sanctuary and a place where women can feel safe, secure and cared for by a staff of highly trained professionals.

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Jessica Wirth
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