Maintaining adequate hand hygiene is the most basic requirement of any medical practice. Practical negligence to hand hygiene is potentially harmful for patients, dentists, and medical assistants. Washing with water is the basic procedure. However, under certain circumstances alcohol-based hand rubs should be used.
Professionals need to recognize that this simple task is very important and also entails hectic responsibilities. Sometimes, nurses may have to wash their hands more than 50 times a day! On busy days, it may even stretch to a hundred times! The hectic nature should not deter you from caring.
Most of the self-reported negligence refers to situations when there are many patients to attend to. Also, practitioners must avoid practicing after developing a permanent skin infection on the hands. You should resume serving only after the infection heals completely. Latex gloves can also cause allergic rashes, so choose the right ones.
Different hand hygiene protocols
According to the intended medical procedure, you have three kinds of hand hygiene protocols.
- Routine hand washing
This is the protocol for removing transient microorganisms and soil. The materials used are soaps and detergent water, typically obtained from a liquid dispenser. It is best to avoid bar soaps.
- Routine hand asepsis
Alcohol-based hand rubs are used to destroy both resident and transient flora. It is applicable on dry hands where the dirt is not visible.
- Surgical hand antisepsis
It is applicable before surgeries. Use both soap and alcohol-based rubs.
Advantages of alcohol-based rubs
- Less chance of allergic dermatitis
- Work faster and are easy to use
- Practically better than washing hands at the sink
- Can actually improve skin conditions
The only issue with using alcohol based rubs is that it can cause dry skin with prolonged usage. You can easily deal with this problem by adding emollients such as glycerin into the mix. It also causes stingy sensations on broken skin areas and abrasions.
Stocking and preserving
Clinics must contact a reliable provider. Discuss the type of alcohol, the proper contact time, alcohol concentration, and its volume according to your specific needs. They must be stored in a cool and dried area.
Very important: Alcohol is highly flammable. Take a good note on the electric lines and store the containers away to avoid fire due to a short circuit. Smoking or lighting up a fire in its vicinity is totally not allowed!
Medical professionals should recognize that hand-washing is vital even when you are wearing proper hand gloves. In fact, it is very important to make sure that the nails are clean as well as these are storehouses of infections. In addition, you must make sure that the hands are perfectly washed and dry before you slip on the gloves.