Did you know that thousands of people die everyday from infections? One of the main ways infections are transmitted is by hands. Therefore, proper hand washing is one of the most important ways to prevent the transmission of infections.
This is how you properly wash your hands in order to prevent infections:
Turn on the water at the sink.
Keep your clothes dry, because moisture breeds bacteria. Angle your arms down, holding your hands lower than your elbows. This prevents water from running up your arm. Wet hands and wrists thoroughly.
Use a generous amount of soap. Rub hands together and fingers between each other to create a lather. Lather all surfaces of fingers and hands, including above the wrists, producing friction, for at least 10 seconds. Friction helps clean
Clean your nails by pushing soap under your fingernails and cuticles with a brush or by rubbing them in the palm of your hand.
Being careful not to touch the sink, rinse thoroughly under running water. Rinse from just above the wrists down to the fingertips. Do not run water over unwashed arms down to clean hands
Use a clean, dry paper towel to dry from tips of fingers upward to clean wrists. Do not wipe downward on unwashed forearms and then wipe clean hands. Dispose of towel without touching waste container. If your hands touch the sink or waste container, start over.
Use a clean, dry paper towel to turn off the faucet without contaminating your hands. Properly discard towel
Identify when to wash hands:
- When arriving at a patient’s room.
- Before and after touching a patient.
- Before and after making meals or working in the kitchen.
- Before and after you eat.
- Before feeding a patient.
- After using the restroom.
- After touching any item used by or for a patient.
- Before leaving a patient’s room.
- Before putting on gloves.
- After removing your gloves or any type of personal protective equipment.
- After touching a surface that may be contaminated with any body fluid.
Important Note: You may use a waterless hand cleansing product (hand sanitizer) as long as your hands are not visibly soiled – this saves time and can be less harsh on your hands.