Friday Fast Facts – Hand Hygiene

Friday Fast Facts – Hand Hygiene

What you may not know:

 

  • Harmful bacteria and pathogens may be present under fingernails
  • Repeated hand washing with hot water may lead to dermatitis or skin breakdown resulting in susceptibility to infection or bacteria growth
  • Wearing jewelry may limit your ability to remove harmful bacteria and jewelry may carry additional bacteria
  • Wearing gloves is not the same as washing your hands, and gloves can break
  • If your hands are visibly dirty, hand sanitizer is not enough
  • Out-of-sight, out-of-mind – If hand washing stations or sanitizing products are not visible and accessible people are less likely to use them

 

What you can do:

 

  • Keep your fingernails short and scrub beneath them
  • Use water between 70° and 80°F
  • Moisturize hands with simple and compatible moisturizing lotions
  • Do not wear jewelry when washing hands or interacting with patients
  • Do not use gloves as a replacement for hand washing
  • Wash your hands if they are visibly dirty, do not just sanitize
  • Keep sanitizer and washing stations prominent and visible to increase utilization

 

When:

 

  • Before interacting with a patient
  • After interacting with a patient
  • After being in contact with patient surroundings
  • After blood or bodily fluid exposure
  • Before a sterile task
  • If hands are visibly dirty
  • After a trip to the bathroom
  • Before eating
  • After eating

 

It is up to healthcare leaders, professionals, doctors, nurses, patients, visitors, and everyone in between to keep their hands clean. Clean hands are safe hands.

 

Remember, 80% of infectious disease are transmitted by touch. We could potentially reduce the number of Hospital Acquired Infections (HAIs) by 50%, just by following good hand hygiene practices.

 

 

 

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