Improper Hand Hygiene Practice In Nursing

1463 Words 6 Pages

Healthcare associated infections (HAIs) are a source of financial problems and preventable complications including death, for hospitals throughout the United States of America. According to an article found in The Journal of Infection Control, the focus of research has been on hand sanitization of healthcare workers, and there has been a lack of research regarding patients’ hand hygiene practices (Istenes, Bingham, Hazelett, Fleming, & Kirk, 2013, p. 794). This becomes problematic because as Barker et al. (2014) suggest, “patients are a common source of their own infections” (p. 585). Ardizzone, Smolowitz, Kline, Thorn, and Larson (2013) support this statement by suggesting that many infections are due to patients’ “own native
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First, the nurse must address the problem of patient knowledge deficit. In order for the patient to better understand the risks of infection due to improper hand hygiene, the nurse needs to explain the relationship between hand hygiene and the spread of infection. Demonstrating proper hand hygiene techniques and the appropriate time to implement the procedure further educates the patient and will reinforce proper techniques needed to reduce infection. According to Landers et al., (2012) patients should use hand hygiene techniques after using the toilet, bedside commode, before eating, drinking, touching breaks in the skin, and after coughing and sneezing. By educating the patient in the proper technique and time to use it, patients are empowered to decrease their own risk of infection (p. …show more content…
By addressing the need for better patient hand hygiene a nurse can play a vital role in reducing hospital-acquired infections and surgical site infections by implementing a patient centered hand hygiene process. As consistent care-givers, nurses have the opportunity to combat this costly deficit in the healthcare system through independent nursing functions such as education, demonstration, timely reinforcement, and provision of the necessary products. Each of these steps requires patient-centered care, which closely evaluates the needs of the patient and their capabilities. According to Landers et al., “Patient hand hygiene represents the next big step in infection prevention and in the evolving field of patient-centered care” (2012, p. S16). As evidenced in the assessment data, many patients are not practicing proper hand hygiene techniques at vital times. Nurses must work with patients and other members of the healthcare team to empower the patient to play an active role in their own

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