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What’s Missing From Hand Hygiene in Nursing?

Words By Martina

Martina is a wellness and skin-health writer, blogger, teacher, mother to twins and world traveler (not necessarily in that order). She believes that life is all about balance and has a special way of taking complicated topics and making them a pleasure to read. Her words are honest, informative and warm. Learn more about your skin health from Martina.

You and I both know that hand hygiene is at the forefront of the world’s priorities right now. But is it a priority for you, personally? If you’re a nurse, I’d be willing to bet my life savings (which I wish was a bit bigger, if I’m honest!) that you’d say yes! Hand hygiene in nursing is so important that it literally can’t take a step back without putting people’s lives at risk. That’s really what it comes down to.

Are You Washing Your Hands Enough?

Nurses, who are superheroes without capes, carry such responsibility on their shoulders. They move from patient to patient, helping them with all sorts of medical needs that it’s so important for them to keep their hands clean and pathogen free. Unfortunately, it’s when people don’t keep up their hygiene in high-risk settings like hospitals that germs can easily spread and cause serious health problems for some. It might come as a shock that according to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) around 1 in 31 hospital patients get a healthcare-associated infection because healthcare professionals are not cleaning their hands as often as they should!1 

(Looks like I might be losing my life savings after all!)

But not to put the blame on nurses and healthcare providers, the truth is that as a nurse, you don’t know what potential infections a patient might be bringing in so washing your hands often is even more important to help protect yourself too. Protection from infections is a two-way street and everyone should be on board to keeping each other as safe as they possible can. 

The best way to prevent germs that cause infections to keep from spreading is by washing your hands. It seems simple enough, but it’s not as easy as you’d think. Hand washing for nurses is such a key part of their responsibilities in keeping themselves and their patients safe but it also has a terrible effect on the health of their skin.

What’s the Downside?

If you wash your hands as much as a nurse is expected to (sometimes up to 100 times in one 12-hour shift!1), it’s no wonder the skin on the hands gets damaged, extremely dry, irritated and even inflamed. If you want to keep up your hand hygiene without having to suffer from uncomfortable, damaged (and not to mention unsightly!) skin, you need the help of a shielding lotion like Gloves In A Bottle to keep your skin protected before, during and after washes. One application can keep your hands moisturized and protected for at least 4 hours. If we do the maths, in one 12-hour shift, a nurse would only have to apply the hand cream 2 times during their shift. That’s not much to ask and certainly won’t get in the way of their work. Just remember to put it on before the start of the shift and when you finish and you’ll know your hands are well looked after. And before you start to worry, Gloves In A Bottle is gentle, completely safe and approved for use in hospitals so no problems there!

If you’re aiming for effective hand hygiene in nursing, make sure to look after not only the cleanliness of your hands but the health of your skin as well. 

1 https://www.cdc.gov/patientsafety/features/clean-hands-count.html

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