Proper Handwashing in the Patient-Care Setting
Health care providers and back office staff are trained in their schooling that hand hygiene plays a critical role in infection control. Yet, data from the CDC estimates that only 40% of health care workers comply with the recommended hand hygiene guidelines.
Even though there are authoritative agencies that enforce proper hand hygiene, employers must do their part to enforce this important step in infection control. Proper handwashing procedures must be in place to minimize employee and patient exposure to bloodborne pathogens.
Today we bring you a friendly reminder on proper handwashing procedures.
Hands must be thoroughly washed:
Before donning gloves
After removing gloves
After each patient procedure
Before leaving the work area
After hands have touched a potentially contaminated surface
Effective handwashing procedures include:
Scrubbing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds on the palms, between the fingers, the back of the hands, and the wrist
Scrubbing is followed by a thorough rinse with water, for at least 10 seconds
Then a complete drying
If a paper towel is used for drying, it should be used to turn off the water
When no sink is available, an antimicrobial product can be used as an intermediate measure, which should be followed up by washing with soap and water as soon as feasible.
The CDC calls handwashing a “do-it-yourself” vaccine – handwashing is a form of prevention to reduce the spread of illnesses so you and others around you can stay healthy.
Handwashing is a win for everyone, except for germs.
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