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Hand Hygiene - Essay


Learning Outcomes: • Compare and contrast the various work contexts of the professional nurse

• Prepare written communication relative to the acquisition of nursing knowledge

• Describe the basic principles of reflective practice and evidence their application in relation to particular learning tasks.

Introduction: The present report is based on the topic of "importance and role of hand hygiene: nursing practices". Hand hygiene is regarded to be the most efficient ways to avoid the increase of communicable infections. Nurses should clean their hands to protect themselves and others, from serious infections transferred from the patient in the healthcare facility. Apart from self-protection, there is also a risk for the patient to get infected while receiving treatment within the healthcare facility. Based on the report of the World Health Organization (WHO), nurses possess the risk of bacteria transmission after actions like intravascular catheter care, wound care, respiratory tract, and patient secretion handling (WHO, 2019). In addition to this, the significance of hygiene related to hand is also relevant for patient education, which in turn can prevent several infections and health burden within the community. The objective of this essay is to determine the importance of hand hygiene in nursing. For this purpose, several journal articles are evaluated and a secondary literature review is presented in the preceding section.

Question: Discuss the importance and role in nursing - Hand Hygiene.

Answer: Performance, knowledge, and attitude of nurses towards hand hygiene: According to the CDC's Clean Hands, Count Campaign, each health care provider should be continuing the hand hygiene rules (Jones et al 2017). For this purpose, the campaign provides appropriate recommendations, rectify myths, and misconceptions related to hand hygiene; along with providing training and hands-on practicing workshop. It also empowers patients by providing them the authority to remind nurses and other healthcare providers to clean their hands before treatment. According to the report of Glogovsky(2017), in 2014, the American nurses association collaborated with the association for professionals in infection control and epidemiology, to improve the nursing practice and priorities for preventing infection. The collaboration has also identified hand hygiene as the topmost priority for nursing practice. The patients in hospitals generally have weak immunity, and they are at higher risk to get infected from unhygienic hands. This illustrates the best practices as, when the hands will be cleaned either by using soap-water or by the usage of alcohol-based sanitizers. Alcohol-based sanitisers are effective and kill maximum germs on the skin and are also less irritable. However, as pointed by Piras, Lauderdale & Minnick (2017), nurses often get busy and forget to wash their hands. In such cases, it is wise to use globes, which is used one time. It is an important and helpful supplement blue mountain hand hygiene and also controls infection. According to a recent report, more than 75,000 death the result of healthcare-associated infection (HAIs) (McKinley et al 2018). Thus, apart from, nurses and other healthcare providers, the patients, and their visitors should also be emphasized to maintain hand hygiene.

In a report by Azim, Juergens&McLaws (2016), it has been illustrated that less than 60% of physicians and nurses observe the protocol of washing hands in a proper manner. The reason is further argued that due to the shortage of facilities, overburdening of patients, and lesser ratio of patient to nurses. However, in several underdeveloped and developing nations, the issue is linked with individual perception, belief, cultural factors, and poor performance. As a result of which, the proper execution of hand washing is not followed and acute to critical infections are prevailing. Among the high prevalence infection that are liable due to negligence in hand washing, "Nosocominal infection" and "respiratory tract infection" are common. The survey performed by Diwan et al. (2016), suggested that more than 70% of nursing staffs have sufficient information about hand hygiene. However, they assume it, not to be necessary while delivering the patient care, and thus remains neglected. The said observation has been achieved with reference to a survey analysis in Asian countries. In the contrary, the report of Kirk et al. (2016), which is based on a survey in the U.S., it has been found that nurses have positive attitude and knowledge about hand hygiene. For instance, before entering and existing the isolated rooms, the nurses pay attention to washing hand. However, the nurse also highlighted that the practice is not necessarily followed during the non-official times and using gloves is only essential during the direct touch (pulse or heartbeat measurement), electrocardiogram, or oral examination of the patient (Luangasanatip et al 2015).


In another report by Sundal et al. (2017), where the author focuses on the benefits of proper training and orientation program at the health care institutions; onto the hand hygiene knowledge and attitude of nurses. In particular, it was found that among physician, allied professionals, and other staff at hospitals, nurses have indicated a positive attitude towards hand hygiene provision. It thus indicates that nurses have good performance about hand hygiene, which is indicative of appropriate training courses. However, similar to the above references, certain factors play crucial role in maintaining this practices during care scenario. These factors primarily include general factors such as lack of knowledge, negative attitude, stress at workplace, and change in shifts. While the more specific reasons include infection risk in patient and antiseptic related allergy (Oliveira, Gama, & Paula, 2017).

Recommendation: In accordance with the evidence-based practices for nurses, WHO have provided infection prevention and control strategy by using five moments that are essential to be adopted in conjunction to hand hygiene approach. These moments include the followings (WHO, 2019):

• Prior to touching the patient for examination

• Prior to begin with the procedure of cleaning or aseptic process

• Immediately after the exposure to body fluid

• After touching of a patient for examination is over

• After cleaning and touching of patient' environment (Kingston et al 2017)

Conclusion: In summary, the present report highlights the attitude, knowledge, and awareness of nurses towards hand hygiene procedure is illustrated. Based on the learning, it is identified that washing hands, using gloves, and taking care of the procedure is of high significance to inhibit the further risk of infectivity. The factors that are responsible for negligence include work stress, burden, little knowledge, and lack of training. However, according to the protocol of WHO, prior to and after to touching patient, and involvement in the cleaning procedure, hand washing must be adopted by nurses.


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