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A lab test has indicated that MRSA is on your skin or in your nose. Take a moment to read this information. Ask our staff to discuss the results with you.


What Is MRSA?

Sometimes germs become resistant to certain antibiotics. Staph (Staphylococcus) aureus is a common germ often found on your skin and in the front part of your nose. When the Staph aureus germ shows resistance to an antibiotic called methicillin, it’s called MRSA.


How Is MRSA Identified?

If you’re showing signs of infection—fever, pneumonia, high white-blood cell counts or drainage from a wound—your health care provider will orders tests and cultures to determine if you have a MRSA infection.

Sometimes MRSA can be found on the skin and nose yet doesn’t cause problems or infections. If you’re admitted to the hospital and are placed in intensive care, we’ll take a swab from your nose. If MRSA is identified from this test, you’re considered to be colonized with the MRSA germ. Your health care provider needs to know this if you are having surgery or a procedure.


Why Do I Need to Be Isolated?

Patients in a hospital have a weaker immune system. The staff at the hospital needs to prevent the spread of germs between patients. Since MRSA is resistant to many antibiotics, we’ll take extra steps to prevent the spread of this germ. For more information, refer to the handout called Hospital Isolation: Partnering With You in Infection Prevention.


Can My Family and Friends Visit Me?

You can have visitors. Family and friends should wash their hands or use an alcohol-based hand-rub when they arrive to see you and when they leave your room. The nursing staff will explain any additional requirements. We ask that visitors don’t eat or drink in your room.


What Should I Be Doing When I Go Home?

When you go home, you need to follow good hand hygiene practices. For more information, refer to the handout called Cleaning Your Hands: Partnering With You in Infection Prevention. Your health care provider will discuss any other precautions with you.


What If I Come Back to the Hospital?

It is important to let your health care providers know that you have or have had MRSA. You might be placed in isolation when you arrive and we might do new lab tests to see if the MRSA is still present.

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.