Handwashing is a very simple activity, so it can be hard to understand just how much of an impact it makes when it comes to preventing the spread of diseases and saving lives, which is exactly why we celebrate Global Handwashing Day! October 15th marks Global Handwashing Day when we are all encouraged to be more mindful of that simple act of washing hands with soap and water.
Hand hygiene is a more vital everyday activity for those who work in the care industry. So, along with celebrating the role handwashing plays in keeping us all well, today we’re discussing how you can install good handwashing procedure as part of prevention and control of infection.
When and where?
Procedures for washing hands are a core part of staff training that should be introduced as soon as possible. Care home workers should be clear about when they need to wash their hands, the technique they need to use to do so and have appropriate equipment readily available to them.
Hands need to be washed before and after handling food, before and after carrying out care procedures that include touching a resident, after handling used linen and should always be washed after coming into contact with waste, bodily fluids and contaminated liquids too. While disposable gloves need to be worn for a number of activities as part of PPE, it’s essential to also wash hands after removing gloves.
How to wash
Staff should ensure thorough hand decontamination by washing hands with soap or alcohol rub as appropriate using the recommended technique. You find the recommended method outlined in this government guide, which reminds you to interface fingers during cleaning and to turn taps off with a disposable paper towel so that you don’t re-contaminate.
Along with soap dispensers and paper towels, alcohol rubs or foams are now frequently used in care home handwashing procedures and the technique for cleaning using alcohol rub or foam with products like our popular foam dispenser is very similar to that used if the individual is using soap. You’ll find all of the products you need to set up hand washing stations in our hand hygiene range, including wall mountable and on-the-go options. It’s advisable to remind people both of when to wash hands and what procedure and equipment to use as often as possible.
Signs can be crucial in reminding visitors and staff to wash hands and alongside a reminder sign it is advisable to display a visual representation of the correct washing method. If you’d like to give you or your staff members a quick reminder of the facts, why not have a go at our handwashing quiz?
Is your care home doing anything in honour of Global Handwashing Day? If you’d like to be involved this year or in the future, you can access promotional materials and ideas for social media here.