Great New Reasons to Wash Your Hands, Often!

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    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
    Ntheboat2 likes this.
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  3. 40 Comments so far...

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    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. 2
    I'd love to know what the spec phones have on them. Ewwwww.
  6. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.


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