Teaching staff the importance of handwashing

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    I am new to allnurses as a poster, though I read new threads and posts daily. I have recently started a new job as an assistant to the Infection Control Nurse in my hospital (needed a change after 24 years in ICU/ER). My main focus is inservicing the staff. I am finding it difficult to make nurses see the importance of hand hygiene. Some don't even use soap when giving a return handwashing demo to the Infection Control Nurse! What new ideas might I use to help them learn the importance?
  2. 5 Comments so far...

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    Gel handwash.

    There is actually a spray or gel that you can apply to their hands that they cannot see at first, have them wash their hands, then use a special light over it and it will show where they did not clean. Maybe this well prove to them what is needed. Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of it, but remember the demonstrations that were given at various hospitals with it.
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    And if they don't wish to wash, then they should not be permitted to take care of patients. Way too many infections can be caused by staff. What is the infection rate at your facility?
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    This isn't a promo! The handwashing stuff that was referred to is "glitter bug" and if you do a search, you'll find it. It's a great tool!
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    You also might try wiping a little glitter bug on your own hands, then welcoming each person into the classroom with a handshake. Then turn out the lights and see who's glowing.

    That could easily lead into a discussion about how long some bacteria survive on different surfaces.
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    Quote from ER2Bugs
    I am new to allnurses as a poster, though I read new threads and posts daily. I have recently started a new job as an assistant to the Infection Control Nurse in my hospital (needed a change after 24 years in ICU/ER). My main focus is inservicing the staff. I am finding it difficult to make nurses see the importance of hand hygiene. Some don't even use soap when giving a return handwashing demo to the Infection Control Nurse! What new ideas might I use to help them learn the importance?
    I've been an ICP for almost 12 years now and this has got to be the most frustrating action to get staff to do...maybe because it's the simplest thing to do! One action we've implemented is "thio broth bag handwashing". Our lab prepares 2 bottles of sterile thio broth which we pour into sterile plastic bags (double bagged) and then we take these to the patient care areas and get 5 staff to simulate handwashing in the broth bag. We have gotten nurses, nurses assistants, housekeeping, transporters, physical therapists, social workers and physicians to participate. We just grab whoever is available on the unit at the time. Then we send the 2 bags back to the lab and they culture it for MRSA. We record the names of the participants and send them an email letting them know if their bag grew MRSA. With 5 participants in each bag, it is not punitive and pointing fingers at one person, but if MRSA is found, then you may need to be more diligent with your handwashing. So far we have done this on all our inpatient units, ICU, dialysis and ED and have only cultured MRSA from 1 bag. We are going out to the ancillary departments next and will continue to rotate back thru the nursing units. It has been something different to do and fun for staff; maybe even a little scary, but you should have seen the looks on the faces of the 5 in the bag that did grow MRSA!! It really helped open their eyes.


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