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Safety is a top priority at every hospital, especially now. There are various safety measures that all hospitals are taking, including social distancing, installing plexiglass barriers, and providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors, nurses, and staff. All areas of the hospital must pay attention to safety in order to ensure patient and staff health, especially hospital reception areas. Patients could be at greater risk of sickness when exposed to airborne germs. They need to stay safe while waiting in reception areas and speaking with nurses at the reception desk. Hospital reception areas can utilize sneeze guards to stop the spread of coughs, sneezes, and other airborne droplets that could lead to someone getting infected. This article will explore the different ways reception areas can use plexiglass barriers to stop germs and the reasoning behind using transparent shields in hospitals to protect everyone. 

Source and Transmission of Germs

Germs can be found all over a hospital because sources such as an infectious agent or germ can live in various environments. Viruses and bacteria can be found on sinks, chairs, human skin, and other surfaces. These germs can’t move, so the transmission has to happen through touching or by droplets traveling through the air. Because some people may not know they are infected, it’s even more important to stop the spread of any germs with preventative measures such as cleaning, PPE, and sneeze guards. Germs can spread in so many different ways, so hospitals must cover all their bases when it comes to preventing them. Listed below are a few common ways bacteria and viruses can travel in a hospital setting:

  • Shaking hands with an infected person.
  • Touching a surface where germs are present.
  • Inhaling airborne droplets from coughs, sneezes, or even through talking.
  • Inhaling viruses traveling through the air. 
  • Transmission of bloodborne pathogens.

Vulnerable Patients

One reason preventing the spread of viruses in hospitals is so important is because patients may be more susceptible to germs. People who aren’t vaccinated or have compromised immune systems are considered at higher risk for infection because their bodies cannot properly fight these viruses or bacteria. When germs enter someone’s body, the microbes invade tissues and multiply, causing infection. A healthy immune system can fight the germs your body encounters, but not everyone has a robust immune system. There are many reasons why a hospital patient might have a weak or compromised immune system, including: 

  • Underlying health conditions
  • Medications they are taking
  • Certain antibiotics or steroids
  • Urinary catheters or tubes
  • Recovering from surgery 

Preventative Measures

Preventative measures must be in place in hospitals to take care of the most vulnerable people. Not only do doctors and nurses want to stay protected from germs and pathogens, but so do patients, guests, and other staff members. Using preventative measures like protective barriers, PPE, regular cleaning procedures, and other actions can help maintain a safe and healthy environment for everyone in the hospital. Here are just a few recommendations for keeping everyone safe, including in the hospital reception areas:

  • Install protective barriers
  • Provide adequate PPE, including gloves and face masks
  • Provide infection control education
  • Create an infection control policy
  • Disinfect surfaces regularly
  • Encourage everyone to wash their hands
  • Identify contagions immediately

Sneeze Guards for Hospital Reception Areas

Now that you know why preventative health and safety measures are so important let’s talk about why sneeze guards should be used in hospital reception areas. Hospitals across the country are already incorporating these protective shields into their spaces to reduce the risk of transmission, especially in high-traffic areas such as reception rooms. Even restaurants and hotels are using sneeze guards to keep their customers safe. Experts design protective barriers for hospitals to provide a durable, high-quality solution that will protect patients and staff. They offer protection to people on both sides of the shield by preventing the spreading of airborne particles. Reception areas are places where staff and patients may need to discuss important information, and patients will often need to sit and wait with family members. They can sometimes be a hive of activity and talking, which leads to more airborne droplets. By installing protective barriers, the hospital reception area will be a much safer place. Here are just a few more reasons why sneeze guards work in reception areas:

  • They make everyone feel safe.
  • The plexiglass stops airborne germs from spreading.
  • They won’t change the look of the reception area because they’re transparent. 
  • Various sizes and shapes mean they will fit anywhere you need them.
  • They offer additional safety when social distancing isn’t possible. 
  • Immune-compromised patients will be grateful for their presence. 
  • Reception desk staff won’t have to worry about becoming infected. 

Types of Sneeze Guards for Reception Areas 

Flexibility is essential in hospital waiting areas. We know that you might need to move your sneeze guards to fit your needs better and that some reception areas might be tight on space. That is why sneeze guards come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Whether you need a hanging solution or a countertop option with a pass-through window, there is a plexiglass barrier that will fit your needs and your space. The following lists the different kinds of sneeze guards you can choose from for your hospital reception area:

  • Freestanding sneeze guards: can be placed wherever you need them and moved around easily. Made with aluminum brackets for stability.
  • Countertop sneeze guards: sturdy, secure, and made to stay in one place. Come in various shapes and sizes. 
  • Hanging sneeze guards: best for small spaces or where the countertop room is limited. Can be adjusted for different heights. 
  • Pass-through sneeze guards: best option for reception desks where insurance cards, forms, and other items need to be passed through.

Keeping Hospital Reception Areas Safe

It’s no easy task to keep hospitals safe, especially now. But with safety as a top priority, hospitals can ensure the proper preventative measures are being taken to keep their patients and staff safe. Utilizing sneeze guards in hospital waiting rooms is one easy way to stop the spread of airborne pathogens. Patients, doctors, and nurses will be at ease in the reception area when these plexiglass barriers are present.