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When to wash your hands
The “My 5 moments for hand hygiene“ approach describes the key moments when healthcare workers should perform hand hygiene.
The 5 moments of hand hygiene
- Before touching a patient
- Before clean/aseptic procedures
- After body fluid exposure/risk
- After touching a patient
- After touching patient surroundings
How to wash your hands with alcohol hand rub
You should clean your hands using an alcohol-based formulation if your hands are NOT visibly soiled.
The entire process of hand washing with alcohol based formulations should take around 20-30seconds.
The benefits of alcohol-based formulations over soap and water include:
- Faster to clean your hands
- More effective
- Better tolerated by the skin on your hands
Limitations of alcohol-based formulations:
- Not effective if hands are visibly soiled
- Not effective at eradicating spore forming organisms (e.g. C.difficile)
Step by step guide
- Apply a palmful of the product in a cupped hand, covering all surfaces
- Rub hands palm to palm
- Rub your right palm over the dorsum of your left hand, with fingers interlaced, then vice versa
- Rub your hands together palm to palm with fingers interlaced
- Rub the backs of your fingers to opposite palms with your fingers interlocked
- Place your left thumb in your clasped right palm and rotationally rub the thumb, then repeat using your right thumb and clasped left palm
- Rotationally rub the clasped fingers of your right hand into the left palm and vice versa
- Allow your hands to dry