Hand Hygiene

Why do we wash our hands?

Hand washing is the art of cleaning hands with soap and water in the intention to remove virus, bacteria, microorganisms, dirt, grease, and other harmful and unwanted substances that are stuck to our hands by.

removing matter from the surface of our skin, by doing so it can help reduce the risk of spreading infection.

Step 1

Wet your hands with water.

Step 2

Apply enough soap to cover your hands

Step 3

Rub your hands together.

Step 4

Use 1 hand to rub the back of the other hand and clean in between the fingers. Do the same with the other hand.

Step 5

Rub your hands together and clean in between your fingers.

Step 6

Rub the back of your fingers against your palms.

Step 7

Rub your thumb using your other hand. Do the same with the other thumb.

Step 8

Rub the tips of your fingers on the palm of your other hand. Do the same with other hand.

Step 9

Rinse your hands with water.

Step 10

Dry your hands completely with a disposable towel..

Step 11

Use the disposable towel to turn off the tap.

Frequently Missed parts of the hand when hand washing

Most frequently missed areas of Handwashing:

Thumbs, Fingertips and in between the fingers (Back of hand) In between the fingers, and inside of the thumb (front)

Less frequently missed:

Index, middle and ring finger, back of the hands and wrists (back of hand) Mostly fingertips and palms of the hands

Not missed:

The little finger, most of the front of the hand

Sanitiser hand gel

You may be able to use sanitising hand gel in some situations. If your hands feel ‘dirty’ or are visibly dirty: wash them with soap and water in a sink. Never use alcohol hand rub when your hands are visibly dirty as organic material can inactivate the alcohol.

This is a guide for when you can use alcohol hand rub:

  • If your hands are not visibly dirty or greasy
  • Should contain at least 60% alcohol.
  • If soap and water are not available

When going in and out of different working environments

To use alcohol hand rub effectively…

  • Apply a palmful of product.
  • Rub vigorously for 20-30 seconds.
  • Make sure to distribute the product between your fingers, under your nails, under your wedding ring (if you wear one), on your wrists and on the back of each hand.
  • Wait for your hands to be dry before using them.

Hand washing is an area of competence that is critical.

It ensures the health and wellbeing of yourself, the individuals you support and anyone else that you or the individual has contact with.

When should you wash your hands?

  • Before AND after supporting an individual
  • After visiting the toilet
  • Before and after invasive procedures
  • After smoking or vaping
  • Before and after food preparation
  • After blowing your nose
  • After sneezing
  • After coughing
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