MRSA* is a major health problem in healthcare facilities around the world and measures are therefore taken to prevent the spread of MRSA in healthcare facilities. The Swedish Communicable Diseases Act defines MRSA at a general health hazard. You are therefore duty-bound to follow the instructions that your doctor gives you.
As a student you are obliged to undergo MRSA screening before you can take part in direct patient care, if you meet any of the following criteria:
- in the last six months you have had contact with medical care facilities outside the Nordic region, either as a patient or as staff in direct patient care.
- you have been in contact with an MRSA carrier, for example a member of your household/family.
- in the last six months you have had contact with health care facilities in Sweden, either as a patient or as staff in direct patient care, where MRSA contagion is currently recorded.
MRSA screening takes place during drop-in hours or alternatively via telephone appointment. Contact us for more information.
While waiting for test results
You can take part in direct patient care while waiting for your test results, with the exception of work in high-risk units where patients are particularly susceptible to infection with MRSA and where the care carries major risk for spreading infection. High-risk units are mainly neonatal departments, burns departments and transplant departments.
If you have personal risk factors such as cuts, eczema, other skin disorders or foreign material which penetrates the skin or mucous membrane, such stoma, drainage, or a catheter (including indwelling), you should not take part in patient care activities while waiting for your test results. You can, however, carry out tasks which do not require close contact with patients.
If you are MRSA-positive
If you test positive for MRSA the Student Health Centre will carry out further tests. If these tests are also positive, you will be scheduled for an assessment by the Student Health Centre doctor. From then on follow-ups and further testing would be dealt with by the MRSA team at Danderyd Hospital.
A positive test for MRSA in a student with personal risk factors or in a placement with a high-risk unit might mean temporary restrictions on their clinical training. Other than this, a positive MRSA test would not affect your training.
* MRSA (Meticillinresistenta Staphylococcus aureus) are strains of staphylococcus which are resistant to virtually all beta-lactam antibiotics. For this reason MRSA infections can be difficult to treat. Just like other Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA can be present in normal skin and respiratory tract flora without causing infection.