Hand Hygiene Training

Effective Hand Hygiene, often referred to as Hand Washing is an integral part of the Infection Control system within healthcare and allied industries.

Clean hands save lives and stop the spread of many infections

Washing your hands regularly is the single most effective way of stopping the spread of many common infections. When healthcare workers – like doctors and nurses – keep their hands clean they help prevent the spread of serious healthcare associated infections like MRSA.

Some of the common infections we can help prevent by regular hand washing include:

  • Colds and flu
  • Runny noses and chest infections
  • Many tummy bugs that cause diarrhea and vomiting
  • Eye infections like conjunctivitis
  • Food related bugs that can be spread when cooking or barbecuing food
  • MRSA
  • Many of these infections are common in children, so parents and childcare workers should make sure that children wash their hands regularly.

Some infections found in healthcare facilities – like hospitals -can be very serious and sometimes fatal. We can help stop the spread of these infections by making sure that healthcare workers, patients and visitors all make sure that their hands are clean.

Remember, clean hands save lives and stop the spread of many infections.

How To Wash Your Hands

Wet your hands with warm water and apply a small amount of soap on to your hands
Rub your hand together until the soap forms a lather. Rub all over the top of your hands, in between your fingers and around and under your fingernails.
Continue to do this for 15 seconds, which is around the length of time it takes to sing the ‘happy birthday’ song twice.
Rinse your hands well under running water and dry your hands using paper, a clean towel or a hot air dryer.
Remember, clean hands save lives and stop the spread of many infections.

Course Content

  • Responsibility and Accountability
  • Hand Hygiene Preparation
  • Social Hand Hygiene
  • Antiseptic Hand Hygiene
  • Surgical Hand Hygiene
  • Choosing Hand Hygiene Products
  • Skin Damage From Hand Hygiene – it’s prevention and management
  • Hand Hygiene Facilities – location and design
  • Hand Hygiene Education and Promotion
  • Compliance Audits

HIQA Findings

“A good hand hygiene practice is the single most important measure to protect patients from Healthcare Associated Infections. Staff at all levels within our hospitals deserve credit for their awareness of the importance of, and the good examples of, hand hygiene practice found by the Authority. This reflects their commitment to patient safety.”

“In many cases, however, we found hand hygiene actions were not always undertaken, or carried out in the right way, despite the efforts of the staff involved. A number of hospitals have now been asked by HIQA to evaluate their level of hand hygiene compliance, in the context of infection rates, in order to assess the impact on patients.” -Phelim Quinn, Director of Regulation with HIQA

Why is hand hygiene compliance still low after all the efforts in recent decades?

In recent years many parts of the world have seen major improvements in hand hygiene. However, there is still not enough access to clean water, not enough sinks or towels, not enough awareness of the central role played by hand hygiene, and not enough investment in a multifaceted approach to tackle the abysmally low levels of compliance.

There are many factors which contribute to low compliance and these are listed on page 170 of the WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (Advanced Draft).

Whatever the reasons, even in resource-rich settings, compliance can be as low as zero percent, with compliance levels most frequently well below 40%.

What sort of microbes can spread during lapses in hand hygiene?

The following are examples of the types of microbes that can be spread on the hands of health-care staff:

  • Staphylococcus aureus (including MRSA)
  • Streptococcus pyogenes (Group A Strep)
  • Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE)
  • Klebsiella
  • Enterobacter
  • Pseudomonas
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Candida
  • Rotavirus
  • Adenovirus
  • Hepatitis A virus
  • Norovirus
  • Wounds will contain large numbers of microbes. Areas around the perineum can be heavily loaded with microbes, but even the armpit, trunk and hands can be frequently covered in huge numbers. Microbes such as Staphylococcus aureus and Klebsiella can be present on intact skin in numbers ranging from 100 to 1000,000 per square cm.

It is easy to understand that the hands of staff can become contaminated even after seemingly ‘clean’ procedures such as;

  • Taking a pulse
  • Taking blood pressure readings
  • Taking a temperature
  • Touching a patient’s hand, shoulder or groin.
  • Furthermore, several studies have presented dramatic evidence that microbes have an impressive ability to survive on the hands, sometimes for hours, if hands are not cleaned.. All of the studies clearly demonstrate that contaminated hands can be vehicles for the spread of microbes.

This Hand Hygiene Training course will be taught in English unless previously arranged. Students should identify any special needs on booking the course.

Certification :  All successful candidates will be issued with a certificate of attendance . Certification is valid for 2 years from date of issue, thereafter subject to re-certification.

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