The treatment regimen for tuberculosis (TB) can take from six months to two years in order to fully treat the disease. Therefore, appropriate are at the hospital is crucial. As an individual confirms a diagnostic with an active TB, he or she will then get transferred to the department of internal medicine, in an isolation ward where each TB patient has his or her own private Airborne Infection Isolation Room. This room is designed to stop the spread of nuclei droplets expelled by the patient. It contains negative pressure relative to other parts of the hospital which allow air to flow from the corridors into the chamber. In addition, it also prevents the air from escaping the negative pressure room to other areas of the hospital.
The ventilation system must be properly maintained and monitored by the nurses, and the windows and door closed at all times to keep this pressure. Air from this room should get passed through High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters or Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVG) for cleansing before it gets returned to the general circulation (CDC, 2016). The room should be properly labeled, and the patient should stay insider the chamber at all times. Whenever the patient requires exiting the room, he or she must wear a surgical mask to stop droplets from getting exhaled and spreading into the surrounding areas. The nurses entering the patient’s room must wear a CDC approved particulate respirator like N95 respirator this prevents inhalation of TB nuclei. Also, they should wear protective goggles and face shield to prevent splashing of respiratory secretions into their eyes. They must use equipment that can get disposed of or autoclaved. Items like stethoscopes and sphygmomanometers should not be shared with other patients and must be left in the patient’s room and disinfected after discharging the patient.
In addition, the nurses should check the vital signs of the patient and also conduct a respiratory exam on a daily basis to check for unusual breath sounds. This helps in knowing if the therapy is working or not. It is important for the nurses to educate the patient on the importance of healthy eating in the treatment of active TB as well. Many of these patients are underweight and malnourished. Malnourishment results in suppression of one’s immunity and these individuals become vulnerable to TB relapse. Poor nutrition can also lead to persistence of TB.
Furthermore, the patient should be informed that some foods contain nutrients like vitamins and minerals that can help boost the immunity and fight TB. These foods include whole grains, such as bread and cereals and green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale. The patient should also eat antioxidant-rich foods like peppers, carrots, and fruits e.g. blueberries and tomatoes. Additionally, the patient should use unsaturated fats like olive or vegetable oil to avoid high cholesterol and high-fat meat, rather than consume lean proteins, such as fish, tofu, and chicken. The patient should also limit caffeinated drinks like coffee (Diana, 2009).
It is common knowledge that caffeine has stimulus substances; therefore, it is highly recommended patients with TB to avoid them, especially during the period of treatment. The patient should also be advised to avoid smoking tobacco as it harms his or her lungs, which can only slows down the effect of the treatment. He or she should prohibit drinking alcohol as it increases the risk of livers damage. Other lifestyle changes like exercise and getting enough sleep may help the patient during the treatment (Diana, 2009).
Lastly, I want to point out that Dr. Joseph Mercola in his article in 2006 addressed that “[t]wo … studies have linked vitamin D to the successful prevention and treatment of tuberculosis (TB)” (Mercola, 2006). Vitamin D, a.k.a. sunshine vitamin, helps boost the immune system, so that the white blood cells can transform to vitamin D to help kill the tuberculosis bacteria. (Mercola, 2006) Therefore, patients with TB should get more sunshine during and after treatment to maintain good immune system with strong white blood cells to defend their body for bacteria like TB.