The public health bag is an essential and indispensable equipment of a public health nurse which she has to carry along during her home visits. It contains basic medication and articles which are necessary for giving care.
- Performing the bag technique will minimize, if not, prevent the spread of any infection.
- It saves time and effort in the performance of nursing procedures.
- The bag technique can be performed in a variety of ways depending on the agency’s policy, the home situation, or as long as principles of avoiding transfer of infection is always observed.
The following are the contents of a Public Health Nurse bag:
- Paper lining
- Extra paper for making waste bag
- Plastic/linen lining
- Hand towel
- Soap in a soap dish
- Thermometers (oral and rectal)
- 2 pairs of scissors (surgical and bandage)
- 2 pairs of forceps (curved and straight)
- Disposable syringes with needles (g. 23 & 25)
- Hypodermic needles (g. 19, 22, 23, 25)
- Sterile dressing
- Cotton balls
- Cord clamp
- Micropore plaster
- Tape measure
- 1 pair of sterile gloves
- Baby’s scale
- Alcohol lamp
- 2 test tubes
- Test tube holders
- Solutions of:
- 70% alcohol
- Zephiran solution
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Spirit of ammnonia
- Ophthalmic ointment
- Acetic acid
- Benedict’s solution
*BP apparatus and stethoscope are carried separately and are never placed in the bag.
Points to consider
- The bag should contain all the necessary articles, supplies and equipment that will be used to answer the emergency needs
- The bag and its contents should be cleaned very often, the supplies replaced and ready for use anytime.
- The bag and its contents should be well protected from contact with any article in the patient’s home.
- Consider the bag and its contents clean and sterile, while articles that belong to the patients as dirty and contaminated.
- The arrangement of the contents of the bag should be the one most convenient to the user, to facilitate efficiency and avoid confusion.
The following are steps in performing bag technique and rationale for each action:
|Upon arrival at the patient’s home, place the bag on the table lined with a clean paper. The clean side must be out and the folder part, touching the table||Rationale: To protect the bag from getting contaminated.|
|Ask for a basing of water or a glass of drinking water if tap waster is not available.||Rationale: To be used for hand washing.|
|Open the bag and take out the towel and soap.||Rationale: To prepare for hand washing.|
|Wash hands using soap and water, wipe to dry.||Rationale: To prevent infection from the care provider to the client.|
|Take out the apron from the bag and put it on with the right side||Rationale: To protect the nurse’s uniform.|
|Put out all the necessary articles needed for the specific care.||Rationale: To have them readily accessible|
|Close the bag and put it in one corner of the working area.||Rationale: To prevent contamination|
|Proceed in performing the necessary nursing care treatment.||Rationale: To give comfort and security and hasten recovery|
|After giving the treatment, clean all things that were used and perform hand washing.||Rationale: To protect the caregiver and prevent infection|
|Open the bag and return all things that were used in their proper places after cleaning them.|
|Remove apron, folding it away from the person, the soiled side in and the clean side out.||Remove apron, folding it away from the person, the soiled side in and the clean side out. Place it in the bag.|
|Fold the lining, place it inside the bag and close the bag|
|Take the record and have a talk with the mother. Write down all the necessary data that were gathered, observations, nursing care and treatment rendered. Give instructions for care of patients in the absence of the nurse.|
|Make appointment for the next visit (either home or clinic) taking note of the date and time.||Rationale: For follow-up care|