Purpose of Hand Washing in Nursing

Purpose of Hand Washing in Nursing-What is Hand Washing,Hand Hygiene Guidelines,Nurse’s Role In Hand washing,Purpose of Hand Washing in Nursing,Why is handwashing so important in nursing?

What is Hand Washing?

In order to rid the skin of dirt, germs, and other dangerous microorganisms, handwashing is the process of washing one’s hands with water, soap, or a hand sanitizer. Handwashing is a quick and easy technique to stop the transmission of infectious diseases including COVID-19, the flu, and the common cold.

Nurse’s Role In Hand washing

Infections and diseases can be transmitted rapidly through poor hand hygiene, and nurses are particularly susceptible because of their exposure to sick patients. Not only can they themselves be susceptible to illness, they could also be transmitters when they touch affected patients or objects and then happen to pass on infections and viruses to other patients, visitors, or other staff members. This is why the management and minimization of healthcare-associated infections are incredibly important. It is also vital to minimize the risk of dreaded antibacterial resistance and ‘super bugs’ that defy treatment.

Purpose of Hand Washing in Nursing

Hand washing is an essential practice in nursing that aims to prevent the spread of infection and disease among patients, healthcare workers, and the community. The purpose of hand washing in nursing is to:

Reduce the risk of infections

Hands are a primary vehicle for the transmission of infections. Healthcare workers come into contact with various types of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that can be easily transmitted to patients. Hand washing helps to reduce the spread of infections, including healthcare-associated infections (HAIs), by removing harmful microorganisms from the hands.

Protect vulnerable patients

Patients who are already sick or immunocompromised are particularly vulnerable to infections. Healthcare workers must take every precaution to prevent the transmission of infections from one patient to another. Hand washing is an effective way to prevent the spread of infections and protect vulnerable patients.

Prevent cross-contamination

Cross-contamination occurs when microorganisms are transferred from one surface or person to another. Hand washing helps to prevent cross-contamination by removing microorganisms from the hands of healthcare workers.

Ensure the safety of healthcare workers

Healthcare workers are also at risk of contracting infections from patients. Hand washing is a simple and effective way to protect healthcare workers from exposure to harmful microorganisms.

Proper technique for hand washing

Proper hand washing technique is essential to remove harmful microorganisms from your hands effectively. Here are the general steps for proper hand washing in a healthcare setting:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water, and apply soap. Avoid using hot water, as it can be damaging to your skin and does not kill germs better than warm water.
  2. Lather your hands with soap, making sure to get the soap on all surfaces of your hands, including between your fingers, the backs of your hands, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. You can time yourself by singing “Happy Birthday” twice or another song that lasts around 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse your hands thoroughly under clean, running water to remove all soap and lather.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dryer. If possible, use a single-use towel or a paper towel to avoid the risk of contamination.
  6. Turn off the faucet using the towel or your elbow to avoid recontaminating your hands.

Hand Hygiene Guidelines

Hand hygiene guidelines are recommendations for proper hand hygiene practices to prevent the spread of infection. The guidelines are typically issued by healthcare organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here are some general hand hygiene guidelines:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  2. Wash your hands before and after caring for a patient, before and after eating, after using the restroom, and after touching anything that could be contaminated.
  3. Use gloves when in contact with bodily fluids or contaminated surfaces, but remember that gloves are not a substitute for hand hygiene. You should always wash your hands before and after wearing gloves.
  4. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or your sleeve when coughing or sneezing, and dispose of tissues in a trash can.
  5. Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth, as this can transfer germs to your body.
  6. Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, and countertops.
  7. Monitor and maintain hand hygiene compliance rates in healthcare settings through regular training, observation, and feedback.

Some questions about the Purpose of Hand Washing in Nursing

Why is handwashing so important in nursing?

In order to stop the spread of infections in medical facilities, handwashing is essential in nursing. Patients with compromised immune systems who are more prone to infections are frequently in the company of nurses. Nurses can lessen the possibility of passing harmful microorganisms to their patients by regularly and properly washing their hands.

When should nurses wash their hands?

Every time a nurse interacts with a patient, as well as before and after any activity that might involve contact with potentially infectious materials, like handling contaminated equipment or undergoing invasive procedures, they should wash their hands.

What is the proper way to wash your hands?

You should wet your hands with clean running water, put soap on them, lather them for at least 20 seconds, rinse them thoroughly, and then dry them with a clean towel or an air dryer. It’s crucial to wash the hands thoroughly, including the backs, the spaces in between the fingers, and the areas under the nails.

What type of soap should nurses use for handwashing?

For handwashing, nurses should use an antimicrobial soap or an alcohol-based hand rub. For the soap to be effective against the majority of pathogens, it must be FDA-approved and contain at least 60% alcohol or another antimicrobial substance.

How can nurses encourage patients to practice good hand hygiene?

Nurses can encourage patients to practice good hand hygiene by setting an example and washing hands frequently. They can also educate patients about the importance of hand washing and provide them with resources, such as posters and brochures, to promote hand hygiene. Additionally, nurses can make hand sanitizer and hand washing equipment easily accessible to patients.

Hope you Like this Article Purpose of Hand Washing in Nursing.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should not substitute professional medical advice.

Name -Parika Parika holds a Master's in Nursing and is pursuing a Ph.D. in Nursing. In addition to her clinical experience, Parika has also served as a nursing instructor for the past 10 years, she enjoys sharing her knowledge and passion for the nursing profession.

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