THE 5 ESSENTIAL MOMENTS – HAND HYGIENE

There are 5 essential moments where the healthcare worker is to use hand hygiene. Following are those 5 moments, the rationale and examples of each.

  1. BEFORE TOUCHING A PATIENT: To protect the patient against harmful germs carried on your hands
    1. Shaking hands, stroking a child’s forehead
    2. Helping a patient to move around, get washed
    3. Applying oxygen mask, giving physiotherapy
    4. Taking pulse, blood pressure, chest auscultation, abdominal palpation, recording EKG.
  2. BEFORE PERFORMING A CLEAN OR ASEPTIC PROCEDURE -To protect the patient against harmful germs, including the patient’s own, from entering his/her body.
    1. Before handling an invasive device for patient care, regardless of whether or not gloves are used
    2. If moving from a contaminated body site to another body site during care of the same patient
    3. Brushing the patient’s teeth, instilling eye drops
    4. Skin lesion care, wound dressing, subcutaneous injection
    5. Catheter insertion, opening a vascular access system or a draining system, secretion aspiration
    6. Preparation of food, medication, pharmaceutical products, sterile material.
  3. AFTER BODY FLUID EXPOSURE RISK – To protect yourself and the health-care environment from harmful patient germs.
    1. Gloves should be used when a HCW has contact with blood or other body fluids in accordance with universal precautions.
    2. After contact with body fluids or excretions, mucous membrane, non-intact skin or wound dressing
    3. If moving from a contaminated body site to another body site during care of the same patient
    4. After removing sterile or non-sterile gloves
    5. Brushing the patient’s teeth, instilling eye drops, secretion aspiration
    6. Skin lesion care, wound dressing, subcutaneous injection, drawing and manipulating any fluid sample, opening a draining system, endotracheal tube insertion and removal
    7. Cleaning up urines, faeces, vomit, handling waste (bandages, napkin, incontinence pads), cleaning of contaminated and visibly soiled material or areas (soiled bed linen lavatories, urinal, bedpan, medical instruments)
  4. AFTER TOUCHING A PATIENT – To protect yourself and the health-care environment from harmful patient germs.
    1. Before and after touching the patient
    2. After removing sterile or non-sterile gloves
    3. Shaking hands, stroking a child forehead
    4. Helping a patient to move around, get washed
    5. Applying oxygen mask, giving physiotherapy
    6. Taking pulse, blood pressure, chest auscultation, abdominal palpation, recording ECG
  5. AFTER TOUCHING A PATIENT’S SURROUNDINGS –To protect yourself and the health-care environment from harmful patient germs.
    1. After contact with inanimate surfaces and objects (including medical equipment) in the immediate vicinity of the patient
    2. After removing sterile gloves or non-sterile gloves
    3. Changing bed linen, with the patient out of the bed
    4. Monitoring alarm
    5. Holding a bed rail, leaning against a bed, a night table
    6. Clearing the bedside table