HAVE YOU TAKEN A 20 – 30 SECOND HAND-WASHING BREAK?
Correct hand-washing technique keeps you and others safe:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them
WHEN TO WASH YOUR HANDS:
- Before, during, and after preparing food
- Before eating food
- Before and after patient care in any setting
- Before and after treating a cut or wound
- After using the toilet and before exiting the restroom
- After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
- After handling pet food or pet treats
- After touching garbage
- After visiting an outpatient setting (Physicians office/Dentist office/Clinic)
- After shopping
- Before and after handling food
- After traveling on public transportation
- Any any time hands are soiled
What is the difference?
Hand hygiene . A general term that applies to either
handwashing, antiseptic handwash, antiseptic hand rub, or
surgical hand antisepsis.
Handwashing . Washing hands with plain (i.e., non-antimi-
crobial) soap and water.
Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings
Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices
Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA
Hand Hygiene Task Force
Vol. 51 / RR-16
Activity of Antiseptic Agents Against
The widespread prevalence of health-care–associated diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile and the recent occurrence
in the United States of human Bacillus anthracis infections associated with contaminated items sent through the postal
system has raised concern regarding the activity of antiseptic
agents against spore-forming bacteria. None of the agents
(including alcohols, chlorhexidine, hexachlorophene,
iodophors, PCMX, and triclosan) used in antiseptic handwash
or antiseptic hand-rub preparations are reliably sporicidal
against Clostridium spp. or Bacillus spp. (120,172,224,225).
Washing hands with non-antimicrobial or antimicrobial soap
and water may help to physically remove spores from the sur-
face of contaminated hands. HCWs should be encouraged
to wear gloves when caring for patients with
C. difficile – associated diarrhea (226). After gloves are removed, hands
should be washed with a non-antimicrobial or an antimicro-
bial soap and water or disinfected with an alcohol-based hand
rub. During outbreaks of C. difficile-related infections, washing hands with a non-antimicrobial or antimicrobial soap and
water after removing gloves is prudent. HCWs with suspected
or documented exposure to B. anthracis-contaminated items also should be encouraged to wash their hands with a non-antimicrobial or antimicrobial soap and water