Saturday, February 12, 2011

Medical Handwashing Technique

Medical Hand washing is the mechanical removal of microorganisms from the hands and forearm with the use of soap and water.

Equipments Used:

1. bath soap in a soap dish
2. nail stick
3. hand towel

Points To Remember:

1. Jewelries must not be worn except for plain wedding rings for married individuals.
2. Fingernails should be short trimmed.
3. Fold sleeves approximately 2-3 inches from the elbows before starting the procedure.


1. Approach the sink. Stand in a comfortable position, leaning slightly towards but not touching the sink. This is to reduce the number of microorganisms and less contamination. Maintain body mechanics.

2. Turn on the faucet. Take the necessary precautions not to wet your clothes.

3. Wet arms from elbows down to the fingertips, one after the other. Put your hands on down position without touching any part of the sink. Hands are the most contaminated part to be washed. Water flows from least to most contaminated area, rinsing microorganisms to the sink.

4. Get the soap. Wet with water and make a good lather. Use of antiseptic exclusively can be drying to hands and can cause skin irritation. The decision whether to use an antiseptic should depend on the procedure to be performed and the clients immune system. Rinse soap and return it without touching the soap dish. Close the faucet.

5. Apply soap lather, starting from the elbow down to the wrist with strong rubbing and rotary sensation. Soap cleanses by emulsifying fat and oil and lowering surface tension. friction and rubbing mechanically lessens and removes dirt and terminates bacterias. Repeat the procedure with the other arm. Pay particular attention to the palms, inter-digital areas, knuckles and the dorsal part of the hands.

6. Get the nail stick and clean the subungual areas, from the farthest to the nearest digit. Area under the nail can be highly contaminated which will increase the risk of infection for the client. Discard the nail stick.

7. Soap the handle of the faucet and open it. Direct running water so that it flows from the elbows down to the fingertips. Do the same with the other arm.

8. Rinse arms for the second time with strong rotary motion. Put particular attention to the palms, dorsal parts of the hands and the subungual areas.

9. Rinse the handle of the faucet and close it. Drain water from the elbow to the fingertips by placing your hands on down position.

10. Inspect knuckles for presence of excess soap and dirt. If so, repeat the procedure. If none proceed to the next step.

11. Pat hands dry with towel from fingertips to elbows. Drying from the cleanest to least clean area.

12. Fold sides of the towel lengthwise inward, then fold crosswise and hang it with the smooth side facing you. This is to prevent transfer of microorganisms.


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