The act of cleaning hands for the purpose of removing the soil, dirt, micro-organs using soap and water is known as hand washing.
Hand washing is one of the most effective and useful ways to prevent the spread of microorganisms and also prevent communicable diseases.
Our hands can be contaminated by the germs on doorknobs, the railing of stairs, or whatever that have been touched by contaminated hands. Perfect handwashing can prevent diseases like COVID 19, common cold, influenza, Shigellosis, Streptococcal Disease, etc.
Purposes of hand washing
- To break the chain of infection from one person to another continuously.
- To clean the hand physically from soil and dirt.
- To reduce the total microbial count of hand which prevents to cause disease
- To reduce the transmission and cross infection from one another.
- To prevent the medical personnel from pathogenic or disease-causing agents.
When to perform hand washing?
For personal hygiene, handwashing can be performed any time but there are some works for which hand washing is more important.
- Whenever we go for patient care or after the patient care is done.
- Before coming in contact to suspected patient who are more prone to be infected.
- Before performing medical procedures like administration of injection, cannula fixation, catheterization, suturing etc.
- After handling contaminated medical equipment.
- Whenever came in contact to body fluids like blood, plasma, etc. Or came in contact to open wounds or contaminated areas.
- Hand washing should also be performed after doffing the surgical or disposable gloves, before having your meal, lunch or before eating anything, and after the use of toilet.
How many steps are involved in hand washing?
There are 6 steps of hand washing to be free from germs. They are given below.
- Remove all the jewelry and clothes from forearm and hands
- Wet hands with water holding the finger tips lower than the wrist.
- Apply enough soap to cover the whole surface of hand
Step 1: Rub hands palm to palm gently.
Step 2: Right palm over the left dorsum with interlocked fingers and vice versa.
Step 3: Palm to palm with finger interlocked
Step 4: Back of finger to opposing palm with finger interlocked
Step 5: Rotational rubbing of left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa
Step 6: Rotational rubbing backward and forwards with clasped fingers with a right hand in left palm and vice versa
At last rinse your hand with water, dry with a single-use towel.
I hope this article remains helpful for you.