Hand hygiene is one of the practices that can help prevent the spread of germs and microorganisms from one person to the other. Hand hygiene can involve using soap and water on visibly soiled hands or through the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer (Treas & Wilkinson, 2013). When hand hygiene is embraced by every individual including children and adults, it lays a foundation for preventing the spread of infectious diseases in our homes and settings that we interact with daily). Healthcare professionals and children are among the groups that come in contact with items that can be contaminated, they do not know the correct procedure for practicing hand hygiene. This presentation, therefore, seeks to expound on hand hygiene. The specific teaching points that will be included include the hand washing process when to practice hand hygiene and the type of hand sanitizer to be used when water is not available. Including these aspects in the presentation is crucial since it will enlighten every person on the significance and process of practicing hand hygiene.
Hand washing is one of the effective infection prevention measures. Since every person depends on their hands to do a wide range of activities, they can come in contact with germs that can predispose them to different illnesses. When one’s hand has got germs, touching the eyes, nose, or mouth can transfer these germs to other internal organs. Preparing or eating foods and drinks with unwashed hands can also predispose one to infections (Bolon, 2016).
When to practice hand hygiene
CDC recommends that individuals should practice hand hygiene at least 20 seconds before and after engaging in certain activities. Hand hygiene should be practiced before, during, and after preparing food, before and after attending to a sick person, after visiting the toilet, or after blowing the nose. In healthcare settings, one should wash hands with soap and running water when they are visibly soiled, after attending to a patient who is suspected to have an infectious condition or after one is exposed to known or suspected spores (Bolon, 2016).
Under certain circumstances, the unavailability of water may prevent one from washing hands with water. As a result, it is recommended that one uses an alcohol-based sanitizer. The sanitizer should contain at least 60 percent alcohol in water. In healthcare settings, one can use a sanitizer before or after coming in contact with a sick person, before engaging in a sterile task, after touching blood or dirty surfaces, and after take away gloves (Bolon, 2016).
Process of practicing hand hygiene
When using water and soap, begin by wetting the hands and then apply soap. Rub the lather on your palm, back of the hands, between fingers, and underneath the nails. Rub the hands for at least 20 seconds and wash them with clean running water. Finally, use an uncontaminated towel or air to dry the hands (Bolon, 2016). On the other hand, when using an alcohol-based sanitizer, apply the gel on the palm of your hands, rub your hands together, and in between fingers until the sanitizer is dry. This could take approximately 20 seconds (Bolon, 2016). By practicing the outline hand hygiene practices, it will lay a foundation for preventing the spread of certain infectious diseases.
Bolon, M. K. (2016). Hand hygiene: an update. Infectious Disease Clinics, 30(3), 591-607. https://www.id.theclinics.com/article/S0891-5520(16)30027-7/fulltext
Treas, L. S., & Wilkinson, J. M. (2013). Basic nursing: concepts, skills, & reasoning. FA Davis.