Glossary >



Contamination is a term used to describe the presence of unwanted substances, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, and other microorganisms, that can cause illness or disease. It can occur in any environment, such as food, water, air, and surfaces, and can be spread through direct contact or indirect contact, such as coming into contact with contaminated items or by breathing contaminated air. Contamination can also occur in healthcare settings, such as hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes, where it can be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces, equipment, or medical products.

Healthcare workers and providers play an important role in preventing contamination and promoting patient safety. They must take steps to ensure that all surfaces, equipment, and medical products are kept clean and free of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. This includes regular cleaning and disinfection of all surfaces and equipment, as well as proper storage and handling of medical products. Healthcare providers must also practice good hand hygiene, including frequent handwashing and the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, to reduce the risk of spreading contamination.

In addition to preventing contamination, healthcare providers must also be familiar with the symptoms of infection and the treatments that are available. Common symptoms of infection include fever, chills, body aches, and fatigue. Treatment typically involves antibiotics or antiviral medications, depending on the type of infection. It is important for healthcare workers and providers to be familiar with the symptoms and treatments of various infections to ensure that they are providing the best care to their patients.

Get CPR Certified in Minutes for as low as $19.95

Join thousands of professionals that have been certified online with us
100% Online Certification
Fast & Convenient
Instant Certification Card
Nationally Accepted
Get Started
5 star
from 259,205 reviews


Tailored for the community and workplace
Offer Expires:
Comprehensive CPR Training Across All Ages
Choking response training
Recovery position technique course


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Healthcare-Associated Infections. Retrieved from

World Health Organization. (2020). Infection Prevention and Control. Retrieved from

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2020). Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives. Retrieved from