Proper Handwashing

Using proper prevention practices is essential in stopping the spread of infection. The number one procedure in effective prevention is knowing how to wash your hands. Here’s how: You must use warm water. Not cold or too hot. Too hot can damage your hands. Too cold will not effectively kill the pathogens.

Wet your hands. Apply a small amount of liquid soap. DO NOT USE bar soap to wash your hands as bar soap can harbor pathogens on its surface and in the dish were the soap rests. Begin to lather and cleanse all aspects of your hands, particularly between the fingers and thumb and fingertips. Do this for a minimum of 20 seconds. If you don’t know how long 20 seconds is, sing Happy Birthday to yourself twice. DO NOT let your hands run under the water during this time. It will wash away the soap.

After 20 seconds, rinse with one hand at a time. Dry your hands using paper towels and dispose. Turn the faucet off using a DRY paper towel. Apply moisturizing lotion to hands to prevent chaffing.

If your hands are not visibly soiled, you may use hand sanitizer making sure all areas of the hands are targeted as mentioned before. Also teach/encourage proper handwashing to your client or loved one.

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