This issue interests me because infections that can be contracted during health care are a significant reason for morbidity and death among patients worldwide. It is essential to mention that the transmission of pathogens associated with health care usually occurs through the contaminated hands of medical staff (Caris et al., 2018). Hence, hand hygiene of healthcare workers is one of the most crucial measures to prevent the spread of infections associated with providing medical treatment.
At the same time, hand hygiene is a reason for concern in nursing practice because one of the primary factors in transmitting pathogens, including HIV, is the hands. Observance of basic rules of hand hygiene by healthcare professionals has a significant role in preserving the lives of patients and enhancing the infectious safety of medical staff. Hand contact can spread several tens of millions of microorganisms, including pathogenic and opportunistic ones (Caris et al., 2018). Even surgical gloves are not sufficiently effective if basic hand hygiene principles are neglected, as they have micropores through which microorganisms from contaminated hands penetrate the sterile surface. In an analysis of infection safety in the United States, it was established that more than 2 million HIV cases a year caused 100,000 deaths (Caris et al., 2018). Therefore, hand hygiene is the most fundamental component of preventing HIV and other infectious diseases.
To enhance hand hygiene, healthcare workers should wash their hands with soap and water or use antiseptics before and after contact with a patient and before working with invasive devices. However, recommendations to wipe hands with an alcohol-based hand rub if they have contact with blood and body fluids should be observed. It is also essential to perform hand hygiene procedures after wearing medical gloves (Caris et al., 2018). Thus, these guidelines are realistic to resolve the problem of spreading infections.
Caris, M. G., Labuschagne, H. A., Dekker, M., Kramer, M. H., van Agtmael, M. A., & Vandenbroucke-Grauls, C. M. (2018). Nudging to improve hand hygiene. Journal of Hospital Infection, 98(4), 352-358. Web.