You likely enter a hospital or medical center in Seattle with some basic expectations, such as having whomever assists you listen to your concerns and symptoms, and to recieve the highest level of care available. Even if a facility or staff seems unequipped to deliver one those, at the very least you expect that workers are washing their hands. Countless clients come to see us here at Miracle Pruzan and Pruzan after having suffered some sort of hospital-acquired infection, for which poor hand hygiene is often attributed as a cause. This may lead you to wonder just how clean are the hands that are treating you.
Data shared by Becker’s Hospital Review shows that hand hygiene compliance amongst healthcare workers may be as low as 40 percent. Standards for hand washing in healthcare settings have beebn established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They call for clinicians to wash their hands in the following scenarios:
- Before and after eating
- Before and after touching a patient’s intact skin
- After coming into contact with any blood or bodily fluids
- After touching treatment surfaces
- After using the restroom
- After removing gloves
Healthcare workers are also instructed to clean their hands before touching a clean area of the body after having treated a contaminated area.
Often, noncompliance to hand washing standards is not as much to do with forgetting to wash them as it is to not washing long enough. Clinicians are expected to scrub their hands together for at least 20 seconds when using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer or soap and water. If you notice a provider is not doing this, you should be able to ask him or her to wash them again without the fear of being offensive. More information on hospital safety standards can found here on our site.