Great New Reasons to Wash Your Hands, Often!

  1. 1 We as Nurses know this one. We even know little cute ways to know how long to wash them(i.e. alphabet song, happy birthday, etc.). A new study conducted by our University Hospital's Medical Tech Program reminded me that Bacterial Colonies, Fungal Spores, and Viruses love the things we touch the most!

    Here is the list of the top 10 "most infected" surfaces according to 10 Students swabbing 218 Inpatient Hospital Items.

    10. Toilet Flush Lever
    9. Soap Dispenser Button
    8. Salt/Pepper Shaker in Staff Cafeteria(see #6)
    7. Rim of sink(cleaned daily)
    6. Cafeteria Cleaning rag
    5. An Elevator button(Ground Floor)
    4. Water Fountain Handle
    3. (TIE) A Patient's Bed's TV Button and Handle of a Patient's Thermos
    2. A Stethoscope's Bell(Owned by Infection Control RN)
    1. Nursing Desk Phone
    ..."best(Worst?) in show"? The "S" key of one of the "Staff Only" Computers. Now I think "Staph Computer" may better sum it up.

    "Dishonorable" Mentions: Some surfaces' ranks that didn't make the top 10 included a toilet seat(#88), a hearing aid(#31), a BSC(#47), an Emesis Basin(#20), a used tube of Wound Gel (#11), and an abandoned pair of Dentures left in moist Zip-Lock bag (#12)!!!

    Do you have any advice for Infection Control Methods?

    What are some disturbing things you have seen, that, if given the authority to change, it would be safer/more sanitary?

    Do you wash your hands in patients' room for them to witness?

    Is enough hand hygiene taught at your facility, and if so do you see it being followed?

    Feel free to answer one or more, or just leave a comment if you wish.
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Nov 19, '12 : Reason: Formatting
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  3. Visit  BostonTerrierLoverRN profile page

    About BostonTerrierLoverRN

    BostonTerrierLoverRN has '10' year(s) of experience and specializes in 'Adult/Ped Emergency and Trauma'. From 'The Deep South'; Joined Oct '11; Posts: 1,271; Likes: 3,857.

    40 Comments so far...

  4. Visit  classicdame profile page
    1
    we not only talk up hand hygiene, we also have "monitor for the day" for each department. They are charged with reminding co-workers if they see them enter/leave a room without washing.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
  5. Visit  missladyrn profile page
    2
    I'd love to know what the spec phones have on them. Ewwwww.
  6. Visit  roser13 profile page
    2
    "What are some disturbing things you have seen, that, if given the authority to change, it would be safer/more sanitary?"

    Don't know if any authority under God can change this, but one of our female surgeons is regularly observed using the restroom without washing her hands afterward. FEMALE!

    !I suppose her thought process may be that she's about to go scrub the crap out of her hands (literally, I guess but the restroom is on a different floor than the OR's and goodness knows how many door handles, stair rails and auto-door open plates she touches on the way there.
    Last edit by roser13 on Nov 19, '12 : Reason: iPad issues
  7. Visit  RunnerRN2015 profile page
    1
    We "foam in, foam out" and are not expected to wash our hands in between each patient unless they are visibly soiled.
    BostonTerrierLoverRN likes this.
  8. Visit  umcRN profile page
    2
    Quote from RunnerRN2b2014
    We "foam in, foam out" and are not expected to wash our hands in between each patient unless they are visibly soiled.
    So if you have two patients sharing a room you don't have to wash your hands between them??
    Please share where you work so I never end up there... :***:
  9. Visit  BostonTerrierLoverRN profile page
    1
    As to the bathroom non-washer, I watched 12 men exit the restroom at Olive Garden last night just in the short time it took to wash mine. I was sooooo grosses out. Some of them were business men, and there going to all shake hands before they leave. Worse- their going to eat.
    anotherone likes this.
  10. Visit  RunnerRN2015 profile page
    8
    Quote from umcRN
    So if you have two patients sharing a room you don't have to wash your hands between them??Please share where you work so I never end up there... :***:
    I'm at a nationally recognized hospital, recently listed as one of the top hospitals in the U.S. Our rooms are all singles; no one shares. Research has shown that antibacterial foam is equally as effective as handwashing. Our nocosomial infection rates are extremely low. We must be doing something right.
    xoemmylouox, brillohead, Kandy83, and 5 others like this.
  11. Visit  Glycerine82 profile page
    3
    How about the charts? I have to break em down and I don't think they ever get cleaned. I hose em down with Lysol

    "No day but today"
    DawnJ, KbmRN, and BostonTerrierLoverRN like this.
  12. Visit  BostonTerrierLoverRN profile page
    0
    The charts were swabbed, slid in at #211, however other clerical stuff didn't do as well. A stapler on a Medical-Surgical Floor in at #33, tape dispenser #17, and a hole-puncher in the Endolab at lucky #13. By the way, any of the "daily cleaned" (as I believe them) personal cell phones (1 PCT, 1 RN, and one Medial Intern) all would have been 1,2, and 3- but weren't in our study. Also, the swab from the last non-automatic paper dispenser in the general waiting area wash-up sink, a 6,000 sq. ft. area, had what looked like if would have been the worst, but the petri-dish wasn't sealed properly, and it dried out.
  13. Visit  BostonTerrierLoverRN profile page
    0
    Can't wait on the Gram Positive/Negative tests, along with differentials for difficult to treat bacterial Colonies. Please remember, the tests do not pick up viral or fungal spores.

    Also, studies concluded that a high bacteria level upon a surface is NO indicator of fungal or viral presence. Most microbes of the fungal/Protista/Viral origin are very fragile, sensitive to elements, and need a host, or cool/warm dark moist places (i.e. why we don't place items under sink, and they are glued/screwed shut only opened by maintenance. It is however worth mentioning that when they did a test for a local 5 star Hotel, for fungal colonies (not spores) 95.7% of linen surface tested was clear of infection. Then something interesting was found, 99.3% of pillow cases tested positive for levels over safe (recommended) breathing levels. (Fungal) Shortly after these tests were published, Dateline NBC had a special on the Fungal Pillowcase problem.

    As much as I love Egyptian Cotton Blends, Synthetic materials less permeable to Oxygen and moisture faired MUCH better, 19.5% on a 50/50 cotton-synthetic mix, one week of use, virtually no living fungus after a regular cycle wash and tumble dry. .00003% on test (within margin of non-existence). Remember these are the Cases, all the pillows were higher than safe levels, only brought down by "sunning them" for 6 hours. (3 hours each side. One week to resume previous level of fungus! No more pillow fights for me!!!!

    They have tried everything to correct this, so the they researched and found that their own pillow cases came in right about the same. The ONLY thing that greatly reduces the fungal population was using 2 cases. Why? They have no clue. Also, Natural Sun Light is a Wonderful Antibiotic.

    The Sun's radiation destroys the microbes DNA/RNA, thus stopping growth as well. See, our grandmothers were smarter than we knew!!(hanging out sheets). Also, in the tests, areas hit by natural sunlight were ALWAYS the cleanest.
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Nov 19, '12 : Reason: Format
  14. Visit  BostonTerrierLoverRN profile page
    1
    Quote from classicdame
    we not only talk up hand hygiene, we also have "monitor for the day" for each department. They are charged with reminding co-workers if they see them enter/leave a room without washing.
    I really have to say this made me kind of OCD, I mean I believe I always strive to keep my hands washed, even in patient's room before assessing them, well anytime I enter actually.

    But, my real epiphany was public bathrooms (napkin to open door after hand washing), cleaning vehicle surfaces, and ALL Handles of everything gets Lysol Spray daily!! (Peeking out window for the "whitecoats!")
    Last edit by BostonTerrierLoverRN on Nov 20, '12 : Reason: Format
    anotherone likes this.
  15. Visit  PolaBar profile page
    4
    toilet seat(#88).
    That impresses me. I only wish the phobic people would stop ******* on the toilet seats and not having the decency to wipe their urine off of it or lift it like we'd expect any man to do (since they **** on the seats). It is gross to walk into a stall and see urine splattered on the seats. And it's the ones that are afraid of toilet seats that make the mess.
    scwolf, anotherone, Kandy83, and 1 other like this.


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