The ‘five moments for hand hygiene’ image below defines the key stages for hand decontamination, overcoming confusing language and complex illustrations. ‘5 moments’ aim to offer healthcare workers clear advice on how to integrate hand hygiene into the multifaceted task of care.
In addition to the instances listed in the image we encourage all staff to also decontaminate their hands:
- Before preparing, eating, drinking or handling food
- Before and after going to the toilet
- Before and after smoking
- Before starting work and after finishing work
- Before putting on and after the removal of personal protective equipment
- After handling dirty linen or waste
- After cleaning equipment or environment
- After handling contaminated items, including dressings, bedpans, urine drainage bags
The Trust currently has three options for hand decontamination:
- Hand Washing
- Alcohol Based Hand Rub
- Hand Wipes (Clinell universal sanitising wipes) which can be used if there are no hand washing facilities available.
Healthy, intact skin provides an effective barrier against infection. It is important to keep the skin in good condition by using the correct hand washing method, drying hands thoroughly and regularly using hand moisturising cream.
Cuts and abrasions must be covered with waterproof dressings whilst on clinical duty. These must be checked regularly and replaced as necessary whilst on duty. Any member of staff with excessive skin lesions should consult with occupational health.
Hands should be moisturised regularly after hand cleaning to reduce the risk of dry skin. Dry skin is more susceptible to cracks and lesions. The Trust supplies pocket sized moisturisers for staff, this can be ordered and kept with the supplies of alcohol gel.