Cleaning your hands is one of the simplest and most effective ways of preventing germs being passed from one person to another. Around one third of infections are preventable and doing simple tasks like washing your hands go a long way in stopping the spread of infection.
Who should wash their hands?
All hospital staff, patients and visitors should clean their hands on a regular basis.
Hospital staff can help protect you by washing their hands, or by cleaning them with special alcohol rubs or gels. If a member of staff needs to examine you or perform a procedure, do not be afraid to ask if they have cleaned their hands.
When should you wash your hands?
After visiting the toilet
Before eating or handling food
If your hands are dirty
Before visiting a patient and again before leaving the ward
All staff should clean their hands if they have direct contact with you
It’s also important to remember the following:
Remove jewellery before cleaning your hands.
Keep nails short as this will make it easier to clean your hands properly.
If you have a wound dressing, stitches or catheters try not to touch them any more than is absolutely necessary
Alcohol hand gel is available at many locations around Queen Alexandra Hospital in both patient and public areas. It kills 99% of germs that may cause infection. You don’t need to use water towels or dryers and the gel can be used as frequently as required as it contains vitamin E and a moisturiser for your skin.
Dispense a small amount (about the size of your finger nail) into the palm of your hands and rub them together vigorously making sure you cover them well. The gel will then evaporate in less than 20 seconds leaving your hands fresh and dry. Remember, alcohol gel is not a substitute for soap and water but can be used to sanitise your hands when they’re not visibly dirty.
Alcohol hand gel dispensers are regularly checked and filled up however, if you notice a dispenser is empty or nearly empty please notify a member of staff as soon as possible