There is little need to explain why hand-washing is important, especially for those in the medical profession. Hands are the first body parts to come in contact with anything that has to be touched or felt. Medical professionals do it almost every time they interact with patients. Hand hygiene is therefore an integral part of doctors’ and nurses’ routine and must be performed frequently – almost every time for each patient.
Hand-washing may appear to be a simple process but in reality it isn’t – for the washing to be effective, they must follow a few hand-washing techniques.
Hand Washing Steps
Though all medical professionals are at risk of contracting diseases from patients, nurses are at greater risk than others because they play a very critical role. The emphasis is on nurses because they are the ones who handle surgical goods, medical equipment, medicines, wound-dressing materials, and bedding, and so on.
Here are 6 steps of hand washing that every nurse should do not only to save themselves from infections but also to protect other patients from contracting diseases that they are not already carrying. When we say hand, we mean the entire hand from fingertips up to the wrist.
- Moisten hands first, preferably in warm sterilized soft (hard water is not effective because of its poor foaming quality) running water (tap water). Moistening is recommended because hand-washing solution (such as soap) is more receptive to foaming and is more likely to wash away bacteria thoroughly.
- Pour a small quantity of a liquid hand-wash solution (liquid is preferred because they spread evenly and easily foams) on the palm and rub the palms with a rounded action. A rounded action is essential because it is able to foam more and cover the entire area.
- Don’t ignore the outer side of your hand (the side opposite of your palm). With the left palm rub the outer side of the left hand and perform vice-versa so that both the hands come out clean. While it is recommended that you perform this step with care, we caution you not to do it too enthusiastically so as to harm the skin. You are your best judge of what is great and how many times you do it.
- Give special attention to the space between your fingers – this is the place where bacteria are more likely to lodge and pose a threat. To ensure that this space is able to get a good rubbing, interlock your fingers and glide them up and down a few times. At this point of time, ensure that the cleaning solution has penetrated the finger tips and into the spot just below the nails.
- The back of your finger should get some special attention because bacteria are more likely to lodge in the place where you are The rounded join with the muscles below. To clean this spot, use fingers to rub other fingers. Your thumb can really help to perform this motion. Don’t forget the thumb either; give it a good rub too.
- Rinse you hands thoroughly with water until all traces of the liquid hand-wash is gone. You can tell this when you no longer feel the slipperiness that is usual to washing liquid. Always pat-dry your hands with a sterilized towel or a paper napkin after a hand wash. If your hospital has an electric hand dryer, you can use it instead of a towel or a napkin.
There are many liquid hand-wash manufacturers in India that produce cleaning supplies. However, remember that liquid hand wash is not the same as a sanitizer – sanitizers are different and cannot substitute and provide the same level of protection as a liquid hand wash.
Savoncare are leading manufacturers of domestic cleaning supplies which takes utmost care in formulating products which are AZO free and friendly to the environment. Head to our product section to explore more about our products.