BOPDHB Checkup April 2019 | Page 4

Clean care for all – it's in your hands By Robyn Boyne, Clinical Nurse Specialist Infection Prevention and Control. May 5 is Hand Hygiene Day but clean hands are in everyone’s hands every day. Hand hygiene is the single most important procedure for preventing cross infection and the spread of micro-organisms to and from patients and healthcare workers. Healthcare workers have the greatest potential to spread micro- organisms that cause healthcare associated infections in patients, therefore hand hygiene must be performed at the point of care – before and after every direct patient contact, and immediately before and after any invasive procedure, as per the 5 ‘moments’ for hand hygiene. The latest update for hand hygiene emphasises making sure you apply the alcohol gel to your finger- tips so they are as clean as possible, and continuing to rub the gel in, all over your hands until it is totally absorbed. Clean hands are also important for non-clinical staff working in all parts of a healthcare organisation. 4 One pump of ABHR or liquid soap to the palm of cupped hand. Rub palm to palm Go between the fingers Backs of your hands Clean your hands Before • Starting or leaving work • Eating or handling of food/drinks (whether your own or patient’s) Or after • Hands becoming visibly soiled • Eating or handling food/drinks (whether your own or patient’s) • Visiting the toilet • Using a computer keyboard • Blowing, wiping or touching nose and mouth. Gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene. You must clean your hands before you put them on, and again after you take them off. They should be removed immediately after performing the task you put them on for. Rub nails against palm of each hand