Housekeeping staff essential to the care team

agh_logoWhat comes to mind when you think about vital services at Almonte General Hospital and Fairview Manor?

Probably not Housekeeping – yet this department plays a vital role in patient and resident safety and infection control. As the group responsible for the sanitation of equipment, floors, walls and all things in the buildings of AGH and FVM, the Housekeeping team makes sure that the care environment is spotless, bright and free from hazards such as liquid on the floor that can cause accidents.

The 155,000 square feet they clean every day includes patient, resident, clinical, administrative, support and public areas.

We have all come to understand the threat infection represents in hospitals and long term care facilities. Best practice processes and procedures are crucial to ensuring that infections do not spread. Housekeeping staff must stay on top of infection prevention and control standards to keep the patients and residents safe – and to keep themselves safe too.

Their training covers cleaning procedures and equipment as well as how to put on and take off Personal Protective Equipment such as gowns, gloves and masks for cleaning contaminated areas. All Housekeeping personnel start by working alongside a colleague with a buddy system to ensure their training is as thorough as the service they provide.

Randy Shaw, Vice President Corporate Support Services, is responsible for Housekeeping at AGH and FVM. He is quick to point out the caliber and commitment of the department’s 22 staff. His gratitude and pride shine through as he lists the accolades his team earns in satisfaction surveys, accreditation reviews and letters from patients, residents and families.

“These external expressions of appreciation are measures for us, but from the inside I can tell you I am extremely proud of the great work they do, how clean our facilities are, how hard they work and how deeply they care about our patients and residents,” says Randy.

Health Quality Ontario consistently reports AGH as having no cases of hospital-acquired infections C-Difficile, MRSA or VRE. President & CEO Mary Wilson Trider credits the Housekeeping staff with a big role in these results. “In facilities as clean as ours, it’s hard for infections to spread. Housekeepers make an important contribution to the safe, high quality care we strive to provide every day”.