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Proper Hand Washing Technique in Healthcare

Importance of Effective Hand Washing

Hand washing is a crucial practice in healthcare to maintain hygiene. While alcohol gels have their uses, they are limited in effectiveness. Proper hand washing with soap and water, followed by thorough drying, is essential for optimal cleanliness.

Hand Washing Method

Follow the recommended NHS technique for comprehensive hand washing. This method involves specific hand positions, with each action repeated five times:

  1. Hand Wetting: Start by thoroughly wetting both hands, ensuring water covers all areas to be washed.
  2. Soap Application: Apply a generous amount of soap to your wet hands. Rub your hands together to distribute the soap evenly.
  3. Position 1 - Circles: In this hand position, perform circular motions, repeating five times.
  4. Position 2 - Interlace and In-Between: Turn one hand over and interlace your fingers, focusing on the areas between the fingers. Repeat five times, then reverse hands.
  5. Position 3 - Palms and Fingers: Instead of the backs of your hands, focus on the front. Wash the palms and spaces between the fingers five times.
  6. Position 4 - Thumbs: Pay special attention to the thumbs, using a circular motion for thorough cleaning.
  7. Position 5 - Wrist: Finally, wash the wrists while gripping the height of the fingers with both hands. Repeat five times.

Final Steps

After thoroughly washing your hands:

  • Drying: Use paper towels to dry your hands completely, ensuring no moisture remains.
  • Tap Closure: Turn off the tap using your elbow to avoid recontaminating your hands.
  • Dispose of Towel: Dispose of the paper towel in a designated bin.

By following this hand washing technique, you can ensure your hands are clean and minimise the risk of infection transmission in healthcare settings.