Hand Washing In The Mid-1800s

Decent Essays
As a recognized issue in the mid-1800s hand washing was observed to mean the difference in saving many mothers’ lives to whom just gave birth. In Europe, “childbed fever” left and average of one in four children without a mother due to the spread infection across sectors in medical centres (Western University 19). Observed in Vienna, Austria, Dr. Sammeweis ordered medical practitioners to wash their hands before assisting in labour. As a result, the mortality rate dropped to under one percent (Western University 20). Since then, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has named hand washing, “the single most important means of preventing the spread of infection” (Western University 20). As a student nurse and/or volunteer, the moment…show more content…
Outside of the actual act of washing your hands, the easiest step in cleanliness is not wearing any jewelry. Regardless if it is removed prior to handwashing, jewelry is prohibited for all staff who come in contact with patients as it is possible for micro-organisms to survive on the jewelry (Western University 21). Furthermore, although it is hard to know if bacteria is present, long nails and/or the use of nail polish increases the places that bacteria can be harboured (Western University 21). Lastly, the best way to protect and care for you and your patients is by simply washing your hands. When doing so, lather your hands for 15 seconds with soap, thoroughly rinse off with warm water, then dry your hands and turn off the tap with paper towel. This must be done both before and after any contact with a patient, regardless of the scenario. Moreover, if applicable, must also be washed before any aseptic procedures as well as after exposure to any bodily fluids. As an alternative to hand washing the London Health Science Centre has installed an increased amount of alcohol based rub dispensers throughout its locations (Western University 22). Thus, in an attempt to increase access and reach compliance goals for patients, staff, and visitors. These rubs may be used as long as there is no visible dirt, food or other substances on your hands. To properly sterilize your hands ensure that hands are rubbed together until all of the solution dissolves and hands are dry. The following methods are not only essential protocol for all staff to follow but are the best way to prevent the spread of
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