Hand washing

  1. Do you have to carry liquid soap and paper towels ? We have the hand sanitizer gel now . But just heard today we are going to have to start packing liquid soap and paper towels in our bags. I do wash my hands before and after each visit ,if pt. has available place to do so . If not I use the gel and wash with soap and water as soon as I get to a place where I can . I have enough stuff to carry around as it is . Pretty soon I'll have to have a cart to carry all the things I must have .
    Just wondering what other HH nurses are using .
    Any suggestions ?
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   hoolahan
    Sherrie,

    I have it all in my bag too. Occassionally I will go in someone's BR and there are roaches all over, I won't touch that soap, and many older folks may not have papertowels, and I hate to use a dirty hand towel. I will use a hand towel when a pt has gone to the trouble of laying one out for me in the br, mean just for my use.

    Isn't it funny how some people insist you only wash your hands in the BR? We were never fussy about that in our house, just wash your hands and I'll be happy!!

    My bag was out of control. I cleaned it out the other day, and I think I found enough lab tubes and supplies to draw labs on one entire senior building!! LOL!

    I just bought a great back-pack to use instead of the bag. It has so many great pockets and the sharps container fits into one of them perfectly, better than the bag. IN the bigger pocket, I put a smaller back with the BP cuff thermom steth and glucom w/ supplies, so I can just carry in the small bag for CP chackes, but I staill haven't bothered, I just haul in the BIG bag. The shoulder straps are so nicely and thickly padded, it is much easier to carry than my bag, and just as big. ONe of my pt's exclaimed "LOOK at that BIG bag, but it is no heavier than my old one, just cleaner and cooler!
  4. by   nur20
    Always carry my liquid soap and paper towels(taken off the roll).Sometimes i will transfer the soap to a small travel container to lighten my load. I use no soap or towels in the home. In some homes it makes quite an impression when the first thing you do is wash your hands. Hope we all don't get bursitis from carrying those big bags
  5. by   ucavalpn
    Thanks to both of you. I like the back pack idea . I carry my bag over my shoulder now , it's not very confortable . Have worn out a couple of bags , handles broke . We have to carry a spill kit , cpr mask , and several other things for emergency use . Then add on the things I really use . I do have a small bag for lab supplies . I don't carry that unless I really need it . I work at a VA , so our cars are government cars and we aren't supposed to leave supplies in the cars . Have to pack up every morning and unload at night . Good idea about the small containers . I had visions of a big bottle of soap and a huge roll of paper towels .The gov. doesn't buy small size anything .

    hoolahan , I was making a visit a few days ago. I accidently bumped a table . It started to move , not the table it's self , just the cover of roaches on it.
  6. by   KRVRN
    OMIGOD, ucavalpn, what a nasty visual!!!
  7. by   NRSKarenRN
    From my days as an infusion visiting nurse, I still carry a suitcase bag stuffed full...it's due for a cleanout and washing.

    One side pocket with C-fold towels and small travel container liquid soap along with isogel, also roll of wax paper so can place under my bag or use as dressing field. Opposite side carries sharps container. I stuff plastic grocery bags in very front pocket to use for soiled drsgs---even used blood specimen bags when run out for dressings. Working in mostly low income areas, I 've had many "traveling tables" more so in last two years.

    I can hang my bag on doorknob or chair and if known problem home, carry BP cuff and stethecope in one small bag.

    Trunk of car used to have old xerox paper box filled with extra equipment, also plastic crate with files of teaching material, extra agency forms and admission packs---main teaching material kept in 3 ring folder by systems on top. Family used to have to clean out my trunk for trips.

    Since I'm inside now and only see patients per diem, down to just my bag. Other files in garage NOT to be discarded yet.

    Survived two JCAHO and one state inspector. Last JCAHO inspector timed my hand washing---16 seconds NOT the thirty seconds stated in hand washing policy, did clean under my mails with soap---she suggested policy be changed to no time limit just "wash with soap and running water till thouroughly cleaned and rinsed".

    Saw Dr Tim Johnson on Good Morning America: suggested you wash hands as long as you can sing one chorus of "Happy Birthday"
    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Feb 14, '02
  8. by   ucavalpn
    Thanks Karen I like the idea of waxed paper . I could set my bag on it or the scale for weights . We were to use plastic , but I feel that would be dangerous for my pt's . Some don't stand that well to begin with , without having them on a slick surface. I have used newspaper . We have plastic bags supplied , but the plastic grocery bags for old dsg's would be FREE .
    I have been in this program a little over 2 years . I've worked for the VA for many years , but had never done home health . I learn something new every day . Love the job , even with JCAHO.
    I haven't been through the real thing yet , but have had a mock inspector go out with me . She didn't find anything wrong

    I was told to time my hand washing by saying my abc's . I think thats about 15 -20 sec. But when the inspector was there I had pushed my watch up my arm and took a little peek at it to be sure I washed long enough.

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