Nursing, Personal Care Attendant (PCA)

The Importance of Hand Washing and Proper Technique, Two ways you can practice hand hygiene, Alcohol based hand rubs, Washing Hands with soap and water

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The Importance of Hand Washing and Proper Technique: Hand washing is the easiest and most important way to prevent the spread of infection. Hand hygiene is accomplished, according to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) by using water and soap, water and antiseptic soap, or by way of alcohol-based hand rubs (gels, rinses, foams). As a PCA you use your hands in almost every task you perform. You are picking up microbes from one person, place, or thing. You’re then transferring them to other people, places and things. You must remember to practice PCA safe hand hygiene before and after performing your tasks and most importantly before and after patient care. .


Two ways you can practice hand hygiene: There are two ways you can practice hand hygiene. Alcohol based hand rub and washing with soap and water.


Alcohol based hand rubs: Alcohol based hand rubs act quickly to kill a wide spectrum of germs and come in both gel and foam type. Always apply the gel/foam to dry hands using the amount recommended. Apply to the palm of one hand and then rub the gel/foam all over the hands including the back of the hands and in between each finger. Continue rubbing until hands are dry. Do not repeat this procedure more than 2 times. Alcohol based rubs can build up on your hands becoming sticky. Although alcohol based hand rubs are a proven and effective way to reduce bacteria on the skin, they are no substitute for proper hand washing. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and water after two or more uses. Alcohol based hand rubs and antibacterial soaps can eliminate normal flora. This increases your risk of a yeast-based infection.


Washing Hands with soap and water: To wash hands use liquid soap dispensed from a pump bottle. You should use antibacterial soap to kill the microbes on your skin, and then dry your skin with new paper towels.