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Five hand hygiene myths – debunked!

May  4, 2015

Submitted by: the infection prevention & control (IP&C) team

Tuesday May 5 is Stop! Clean Your Hands Day at WCH. The infection prevention & control (IP&C) team invites everyone to stop by their booth on May 5, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for information and giveaways.

With the day quickly approaching, the IP&C team has debunked five major hand hygiene myths.

Myth 1: As long as I clean my hands at some point before patient care then that’s okay, right?

Answer: Actually, timing is everything when you clean your hands! In an ambulatory environment, you should clean your hands immediately before touching the patient. It is also good practice to make sure that the patient sees you cleaning your hands.


Myth 2: If I wear gloves, I do not need to clean my hands.

Answer: Gloves are great when used appropriately. If you are going to come in contact with body fluids or substances it is important to wear gloves – but make sure you clean your hands before putting on the gloves and after you take them off!


Myth 3: If I don’t work with patients, then I don’t have to clean my hands.

Answer: In order to keep everyone safe at WCH, even non-clinical staff are encouraged to clean their hands when entering the hospital and upon exiting the hospital.


Myth 4: Hand sanitizer will dry your hands out more than soap and water.

Answer:  Hand sanitizers here at WCH contain a moisturizer component.


Myth 5: Artificial nails and hand jewelry are okay to wear when providing patient care.

Answer: Artificial nails can harbor more germs than natural nails and germs can also get caught in jewelry worn on the hands. If you are providing patient care, please leave your hand jewelry at home.

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