Keep Your Hands Clean and Protect Against Infection Risks

Keep Your Hands Clean and Protect Against Infection Risks

According to the CDC, keeping hands clean through improved hand hygiene is one of the most important steps people can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs. Proper hand hygiene can prevent over 20% of respiratory illnesses and over 30% of gastrointestinal illnesses, while researchers estimate that a million deaths could be prevented every year if everyone routinely washed their hands.

If that's not enough of an incentive to grab the nearest bottle of hand sanitizer, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), failure to perform appropriate hand hygiene is considered to be the leading cause of HAIs, which cost the US healthcare system almost $10 billion a year.

At Hopkins, we understand how imperative proper, routine hand hygiene is to protecting your patients and yourself. Below are our top techniques and recommendations from the CDC and WHO:

    Wash Often:

    According to the CDC, there are five essential times healthcare workers should be practicing proper hand hygiene:

    1. Before patient contact

    2. Before an aseptic task

    3. After body-fluid exposure

    4. After patient contact

    5. After contact with patient surroundings

    To protect yourself and your patients from cross-contamination risks, make sure soap and water or hand sanitizer are always accessible. Stock your med bag and vehicle with travel-sized hand sanitizer and hand-sanitizing wipes to ensure you're always able to clean your hands, regardless of where you are.

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    Take Your Time:

    CDC guidelines recommend spending 15-20 seconds when washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer. It's also crucial to take special care to cover all surfaces of your hands and fingers.

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