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Preventing Hospital Acquired Infections: Hand Hygiene Practices

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Table of contents

  1. Good Hand Hygiene
  2. The Use of Hand Sanitizers
  3. Conclusion
  4. References

Healthcare-associated infections (HAI) are a threat to client safety. “On any given day, about one in 31 hospital patients has at least one HAI”. Hands care a common medium of infection transmission. This is worsened in the hospital setting where sources of infection are abundant. Nurses play an important role in client care and, while doing so, are often exposed to health hazards. Thus; they may act as channels for transmitting infectious diseases to themselves, family members, and other clients. Good hand hygiene is a must for infection and disease control. 

Good Hand Hygiene

Nurses should be very adept on hand-washing procedure; this is so because they are often exposed to the risk of coming upon biohazards. The action of hand-washing has been reported to significantly decrease the risk of transmitting or contracting infections. As a result, the World Health Organization (WHO) set aside the 15th of October of every year to remind nurses of its significance to further instill the practice of hand-washing, confirming that the skills and principles of this practice is maintained and held in high regard. A good example of the magnitude of hand washing to prevent HAIs is the devasting outbreak of Ebola in Nigeria that took the lives of many health-care workers. We should be health conscious of the potential of getting infected by caring for and handling infectious clients and health-care workers that could also be medium for disease transmission. October,15 of every year is renowned as Global Handwashing Day; however, this study demonstrates that 61.5% of the respondents were aware of the WHO Global Handwashing Day and only 23% of the respondents could recall the date correctly.

The Use of Hand Sanitizers

The WHO advocates for the use of alcohol-based hand-sanitizers; except, when the hands are visibly dirty, then the hands must be washed with soap and water first before proceeding to use of hand-sanitizer. There are wide-ranging reports of its acceptances among health-care professionals. While the study showed that 97.5% of the respondents will readily accede to hand sanitizer, only 34.8% scored acceptance among nurses. The main reason for rejecting hand-sanitizers identified in this study was the complaint of itching. In emergency care units with personally worn hand sanitizers have been shown to upturn their compliance rate. These are usually small containers of hand-sanitizer attached to their pockets, belts, or badges. The reason put forward was because it was easier to remember to use them in such settings when they are on their person or within reach.


The act of hand-washing is common among respondents. Soap and water were mostly used for hand-washing; yet, most of the respondents were lacking in the skill of hand-washing. Likewise, the use of hand-sanitizers was limited among the respondents and the knowledge of the five critical moments in hand-washing was also deficient amongst most of the respondents. Hence, teachings should not only be informative but also be practical. Practices on the spot assessments by superiors or supervisors should be encouraged.


  • Lawal, T., Monsudi, K., Zubayr, B., Michael, G., Duru, C., Ibrahim, Z., & Aliyu, I. (2018). Hand hygiene practices among nurses in health facility in a semi-urban setting. International Journal of Health & Allied Sciences, 7(3), 191–195. 

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Preventing Hospital Acquired Infections: Hand Hygiene Practices. (2022, August 30). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from
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