Handwashing - page 2

What do you think of alcohol based handwashing agents as an alternative for soap and water?... Read More

  1. by   DAB
    I worked a clinical as a student in Infection Control and did a study in an ICU with MRSA patients. The end result was that almost no doc's washed after leaving the rooms or used the ETOH based cleaner. PT, RT percentages were about the same as the MD's. The nurses did much better and most followed infection control procedures in handwashing. Though I did almost gag once when a nurse came out of the room after handling personal patient equipment, did not wash hands, came out, and took a slice of cake off a tray.

    The point is we're all responsible for basic precautions with all patients both for ourselves and others. Now as a RN dealing with a nasty MRSA and psuedomonas infection I wash hands for at least 20 seconds and use the ETOH based cleaner as precaution. I've got patients and my own family at home to protect.
  2. by   mtgirl63
    I prefer good ole soap and water but there are times when the alcohol hand sanitizer is easier and more accessible at the time. Good example is in the Dining Room --- it's not practical or possible to wash hands after serving each resident their dinner (no sink in the dining room) so the CNA's use the alcohol sanitizer after serving each tray.
  3. by   Huganurse
    One time we did a simple comparison with soap and H20 vs gel cleansers. We used the blacklight with the gel that you put on before washing that is supposed to the "germs". The alcohol gel cleanser won by far. The hands were much cleaner. The nurses that participated followed the directions on the bottle or washed with soap/H20.
    Last edit by Huganurse on Jun 30, '02
  4. by   nicola
    For those of us who travel via mass transit the gel is a godsend! I hate to eat after clinging to a pole where lord alone knows how many other coughing folks have put their hands.... I'm also with Hoolihan on the home care issue.

    But no matter how great the gels are, there's nothing that feels as good as a thorough wash in my own home!

    For those of us with sensitive hands, try the gels with aloe in them. Since I changed to one of those, it's been better for my hands. I also use tons of Lubriderm. Love the stuff!
  5. by   debbiet
    Hey CT nurse from batavia

    I like the idea of the hand washing alcholol base, even though my hands get really dry it is a great way to assure that hands get washed inbetween patients. good luck with your practicum project. . Talk with you soon. debbiet
  6. by   nurs4kids
    Just today, I received an email from our infection control nurse that i thought may be of interest to you. I'm a little confused, because our infection control inservice encourages handwashing with soap and h20, but this email is different. Perhaps the IC policy hasn't been updated. Anyhow, I hope she will forgive me for plagarizing her (of course she will, she won't know ), but below is her email and a past email from her about this subject. There WAS an inservice on this also, but of course not for night shift so I missed it.

    January 18, 2001

    Dear All,

    We have found a latex-compatible replacement for the Neutrogena Hand Cream for employees with hands that are extremely dry, red and cracked. The name of this new product is "Gly-Miracle". The cream is a humectant that will pull moisture up from slightly below the top skin layer, and will repair skin break-down. This Cream should be used only for those few employees who have very bad problem hands. The hand cream is Latex compatible and will greatly improve the condition of the hands when used regularly.


    January 9, 2002

    Dear All,

    I have been seeing some pretty SAD hands lately. Please remind your staff (and yourself) of the following:

    Lotions containing petroleum, lanolin, coconut oil and mineral oil will react with latex gloves
    The above will make your hands WORSE if you wash frequently AND wear latex gloves
    Use ONLY the hospital provided Previcare lotion. We will be getting a new lotion soon from Kimberly Clark to replace the Prevacare, but the Prevacare needs to be used up first. Johnson and Johnson is not making hospital skin-care products anymore.
    You may order a special tube of latex compatible hand cream from the pharmacy using the attached form
    If you will use the Avagard waterless hand cleanser instead of soap and water as often as possible, your hands will be much better.


    They have placed the Avagard, Instant Hand Antiseptic with Moisturizers on the walls outside our patient rooms and because it is so convenient, I use it quite frequently. So far, this season, I have not had the problems with drying and cracking that I normally have had in the past. 3M, the manufacturer of this product, advertises it as killing 99% of harmful bacteria in 15 seconds w/o soap or h20. BUT, they do go on to say to "use as a SUPPLEMENT to handwashing to kill bacteria". I have not noticed an increase in infection, nor a decrease. We've really always been blessed on this unit and not had a problem with cross-contamination.
    Last edit by nurs4kids on Jan 10, '02

close