Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Washing your hands- tips

What with the current swine flu issues, we caregivers must be careful. I blogged previously about influenza. In Peterborough, C. Difficile rates are up (found in feces - solution: wash your hands). I wanted to show my readers a poster I put on my client's door, with family permission, of course! Below you will find more information: hand washing videos, infection control, and how germs are spread.

There are five steps to keeping hands bacteria-free :

1. Wet your hands with warm running water.
2. Add soap, and then rub your hands together, making a soapy lather. Do this away from the running water for at least 15 seconds, being careful not to wash the lather away. Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails.
3. Rinse your hands well under warm running water.
4. Pat hands dry with a paper towel.
5. Turn off water using same paper towel and dispose in a proper receptacle.

Click on the poster for a larger image. Click here for a PDF file. It is crucial for caregivers, and visitors to wash their hands, and clean surfaces with antibacterial agents, as well. Caregivers need to remind visitors, especially professionals who go from client to client, or patient to patient, to simply wash their hands and dry them on a paper towel.

If you are ill
Stay home. Prevent transmission. Stay away from high-risk folks, do not touch them or their personal effects.
If you are ill, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, or your sleeve, not your hand, to keep viruses out of the air. This is how Swine Flu (H1N1) spreads. Do not touch your face, mouth, or eyes. Use antibacterial pumped soap and water, not antibacterial sprays or gels, they do not kill Superbugs. The water rinses the bacteria and viruses away.
When do you wash?
  • Before, during, and after food preparation
  • Before and after touching a patient or client
  • In the bathroom
  • Before eating
  • After gardening
  • After handling any waste - animal or vegetable, e.g., litter boxes, diapers!
  • Often, if someone at home is sick
  • After sneezing or coughing (watch this video, embedded below - The Sneeze: How Germs are Spread! It is a hoot.)


A 60-second video on proper technique...

From the Grey Bruce health Unit: more information about infection control...

This video describes the Glowtec training system. They use UV lights to demonstrate where bacteria can hide: under nails, in cuticles, on the back of our hands. Ain't technology grand?!
From A great 1-minute video.

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