Growing up, we all remember mom’s pre-meal demand. And it didn’t matter where you were before mealtime. You might have been playing outside in dirt all day, or in front of the TV with a video game. Wherever you were, a trip to the bathroom sink for a quick hand wash was required. For most kids, washing hands ranked somewhere between cleaning up the bedroom and getting up for school – not fun, but necessary all the same.
You never enjoyed that extra task before eating, but it turns out mom was right. (Really, was mom ever wrong?)
Proper hand hygiene is a crucial first line of defense against infectious disease and germs including viruses, bacteria, fungi and protozoa. And for doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals, it’s doubly imperative. So, mom knew what she was talking about. Here are a few reasons why thorough hand hygiene is more important than you think, especially as they relate to the medical field:
Hands are the culprit.
Your hands are used for just about everything. Unfortunately, they’re also the reason for the spread of germs. Once on your hands, germs can transfer effortlessly to you, your patients and your co-workers. All that’s required is contact with your (or your patient’s) eyes, mouth or nose. Hands are useful…especially for introducing infection and illness.
Germs are everywhere.
You name the place, germs are there. Work desks, kitchen sinks, medical instruments, pens & pencils, keyboards, door handles – basically, if medical providers or patients have been there, germs are probably there, too. And because we don’t have all-day access to traditional soap and water hand washing, it’s always a good idea to provide antiseptic towelettes for your staff.
Viruses, bacteria and other microbes hate a clean environment.
Imagine you’re a germ. (Kinda gross, but stay with the thought.) You love the dirt. You thrive in it. In fact, your world would be a better place without things like liquid soaps and no-rinse antiseptic sprays. But with an effective hand hygiene strategy, you don’t stand a chance! (OK, you’re not a germ anymore.)
Clean hands are important to a healthy medical practice.
Simply put, the cleaner your hands are, the better chance you have to avoid transferring viruses like the flu, common colds and other illnesses to your patients or co-workers. Give yourself an advantage in the fight against infection – wash those hands on a regular basis.
About the co-author:
Metrex Research offers a wide variety of products, all developed with the company’s core principle of “Protecting People.” Metrex has a comprehensive suite of healthcare-related products, including surface disinfectants, high level disinfectants, enzymatic detergents, eye/face shields, hand hygiene products and much more. Additionally, they have designed a dynamic system of solutions to address cross contamination across entire healthcare facilities. The company is headquartered in Orange, CA and also has a manufacturing facility in Romulus, MI. For more information about Metrex and their Infection Prevention initiatives, please visit www.metrex.com or call 800-841-1428.
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