Hand Hygiene

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edge hill university armstrong house | How does hand washing influence the prevention of healthcare acquired infections (HCAIs)? | Practice Essay | | | 5/21/2013 | Word Count: 1059 |

This essay will examine and compare the different methods of hand washing in the perioperative environment and how hand washing influences the prevention of healthcare acquired infections (HCAIs). It will show the importance of washing hands thoroughly to remove bacteria to prevent HCAIs. It will include the differences between the surgical hand wash, the social hand wash and the use of alcohol rubs.

According to Pirie (2010) hand hygiene is very important to perioperative practice and over the years has become more important for health
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There are a few differences between the social hand wash and the surgical hand wash, the social hand wash takes less time and is focussed around the hands whereas the surgical hand wash takes longer and includes a larger surface area, also different solutions are used. (Denham, 2007)

Kampf and Ostermyer (2011, cited in Ghorbani et al 2011:67) have concluded that ‘alcoholic solutions are more effective than other solutions’. Alcohol based rub has a few benefits over soap and water and can be used without having a fresh supply of water, there is also no need for sinks and it is easier to perform (Timby, 2009). CCAR (2007) states that the use of alcohol hand rub requires less time and acts faster because it can be used whilst walking, this means staff can use their time more efficiently. CCAR (2007:1) also specified a method of how to use the alcohol rub - all jewellery must be removed (jewellery is difficult to clean and bacteria will still be lingering on it), hands need to be visibly clean, if they are not then the social hand wash needs to be completed, ‘1 to 2 pumps’ of the alcohol rub should be enough to cover the hands. This should then be spread over all surfaces of the hands, making sure finger tips, between fingers, back of hands and base of thumbs are covered
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