Beat The Heat SAVE 25% NOW
Registered Nurse (RN)
Fundamentals of Nursing
Infection Prevention & Control
Contact Precautions

Master Contact Precautions with Picmonic for Nursing RN

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Contact Precautions

Recommended Picmonics

picmonic thumbnail
Standard Precautions
picmonic thumbnail
Aseptic Technique
picmonic thumbnail
Droplet-Airborne Precautions

Contact Precautions

Contact-sports Precaution Sign
In addition to standard precautions, some patients will require additional Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to prevent the spread of an infection. Infections can be present in urine, feces, wounds (drainage), or sputum. In the case of contact precautions, patients that are diagnosed with having multidrug-resistant organisms, C. difficile, shigella, major wound infections, scabies, or disseminated varicella zoster will require the healthcare provider to wear a gown (minimum requirement) before entering the room.
Private Room
Private Rooms

It is important to isolate patients that have a known active infection. The mode of transmission will depend on the organism, but to prevent the possible spread from person to person in a hospital setting, patients are required to be in a private room.

Wash In / Wash Out
Washing at In-door and Out-door

It is standard practice that the nurse washes his or her hands when entering a room and again upon exiting the room. Washing hands in this manner prevents the spread of organisms. It is commonly accepted in many facilities to use an alcohol based hand sanitizer. Washing hands with soap and water is the only method to be used when hands are visibly soiled or when in contact with spore forming organisms such as C. difficile.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
PPE station

PPE is specialized clothing or equipment, such as gown, gloves, or googles used to protect the patient and provider from transmitting organisms from one place to another. Required PPE will depend on the task being performed and what infectious agent the patient could have. It is important to know your hospital’s policy on the proper use of PPE and how to properly dispose of used PPE.


Gloves are an essential part of contact precaution. Even though gloves are being worn, it is still necessary to wash your hands or use alcohol based sanitizer before and after a patient encounter. Ask the patient about Latex allergies and confirm that the proper gloves are being used.


A gown is used for all patients that are on contact precaution or when contact with body fluid is anticipated. The gown creates a barrier between the staff member’s skin and uniform and the infectious organism. This helps prevent the organism from transmitting onto the staff uniform.

Limit Time Patient Leaves Room
Time Limit Clock Outside of Room

To prevent the spread of organisms, it is important to limit the time a patient spends out of the room. If the patient needs to go to a test, proper communication of the infection needs to take place so equipment that the patient touches can be properly cleaned.

Leave Equipment In Room
Leaving Equipment In Room

A patient on contact precautions will have disposable or dedicated equipment such as BP cuff, stethoscopes and thermometers. These items should stay in the room with the patient to minimize the spread of organisms. These items will be discarded or properly sterilized prior to use on another patient.

Special Linen Handling
Special Linen-basket

Soiled linen needs to be properly bagged before coming out of the room. This is to help prevent possible contamination by inadvertently touching the soiled linen against something that is clean.

Same Pathogen, Same Room
Same Pathogen in Same Room as team member

In some cases, two patients can share a room when they have the same organism that requires them to be in isolation. There is no risk to the patients because they have the same organism.

History of Contact Isolation
History of Contact-sports player in Isolation-box

Patients with a history of MRSA (within the last 6 months) or VRE (within the last 2 years) should be placed in contact isolation upon admission to the hospital. Hospital policy will dictate if isolation can be removed earlier.

Preventative Education
Prevention Educator

Educate your patient. Hand hygiene is the number one way to significantly decrease transmission of organisms from person to person. It is important to understand the infection that the patient has so education can be done with the family to prevent spread of the organism.


Take the Contact Precautions Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Ace Your Registered Nurse (RN) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,910,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Registered Nurse (RN) student study app.

Picmonic for Registered Nurse (RN) covers information that is relevant to your entire Registered Nurse (RN) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer your NCLEX®-RN, Hesi, ATI, TEAS test, Kaplan exams, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Registered Nurse (RN) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.