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The Unit Administrative Assistant’s (UAA) Role in Preventing a CAUTI or CLABSI
What do the words CAUTI and CLABSI mean to you? Depending on your work area, you may hear these words every single day, or you may not hear them at all. CAUTI is short for a Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infection, and a CLABSI is a Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infection. These two types of hospital-acquired infections are costly to treat and, most importantly, are preventable. But, preventing a patient from developing a CAUTI or a CLABSI is a team effort. It is not just the RN’s or PCA’s responsibility; it belongs to everyone on the unit. Each patient belongs to everyone, and they are at the center of everything we do here at Houston Methodist Hospital.
In ways, the role of the UAA on a unit is similar to a cruise director on a ship. The UAA knows what is occurring with every patient and contributes to keeping the unit running as smoothly as possible. Being in the know includes getting and giving a good report. The UAA is responsible for knowing which patients have urinary catheters and central venous catheters on many units. The UAA makes rounds to ask the RN which of their patients have urinary catheters and central venous catheters and why these are in place and then report their findings to their leadership. Being involved in this process helps prevent CAUTIs and CLABSIs because it requires the RN to really pause and think about why a line or catheter is in place and adds another set of eyes on this critical issue. Thank you, UAAs, for all that you do to keep the units running!