What is Body Substance Isolation (BSI) and why it is important? BSI basically means protecting yourself from germs and bacteria found in bodily fluids like blood, urine, mucus, feces, etc. As personal caregivers, we are exposed to these substances on a daily basis. Here are a few safety tips:

  • Handwashing is one of the best ways to keep yourself germ-free.
  • Always wear gloves. Using gloves protects your hands while performing personal care tasks such as bathing, toileting, cleaning the bathroom, even doing laundry and washing dishes. When these duties are performed, everything that’s touched can carry germs and bacteria. Also, it is good protocol to change gloves to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Wear a mask if you or the person you are caring for is coughing or sneezing.
  • Gowns and booties are good for protection for your clothes, usually only needed for extremely contagious illnesses.

Even while caring for a family member or friend, these precautions are necessary because we all carry bacteria and germs on our persons, and some things (viruses, bacteria, etc.) don’t need to be shared.

Liz Atkinson is the CDS Timesheet Review Associate at Paraquad. She can be reached at latkinson@paraquad.org.

Photo credit: UGA College of Ag and Environmental Sciences

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