Hand Hygiene and Hand Washing Procedure

Hand Hygiene is an important part of preventing infection. Hands can be cleaned, or decontaminated by:

Washing with water and soap that removes dirt and germs from the hands but doesn’t kill them

Using alcohol hand rubs and gels which kill most bacteria. These are less effective against Clostridium difficile and some viruses that cause vomiting and diarrhoea if hands are visibly dirty.

The World Health Organisation has identified ‘5 moments’ when health and social care workers should clean their hands. These moments are:

1.Before touching the individual you are supporting.

2.Immediately before carrying out a ‘clean’ procedure.

3.After exposure to body fluids and after removing gloves.

4.After touching the individual you are supporting.

5.After touching the area or objects surrounding the individual you are supporting.

Hand Washing

For hand washing to be effective, it is important that you make sure that every part of your hands are carefully washed, rinsed and dried. The following steps show how to ensure that your hands are washed correctly:

1.First, wet your hands and wrists thoroughly using warm running water

2.Apply liquid or foam soap

3.Produce a good lather by rubbing your palms together, then interlock your fingers and rub together again.

4.Rub the palm of your hand ensuring that fingertips and fingernails are cleaned. Ensure that the backs of your hands are lathered and cleaned.

5.Rub with fingers locked, maintaining a good lather. Ensure that your wrists are cleaned. Rubbing and lathering your hands should take around 20 seconds.

6.Rinse hands thoroughly using running water

7.Hands and wrists should be thoroughly dried using disposable paper towels or a hand dryer.

Use to answer question 15.1b of the Care Certificate

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