Doctors and nurses urged to give up handwashing - page 2

Doctors urged to give up hand washing Monday, October 28, 2002 Posted: 11:27 AM EST (1627 GMT) CHICAGO (AP) -- The government has issued guidelines urging doctors and nurses to abandon... Read More

  1. by   cargal
    I , on the other hand (pardon the pun?) found that the product that was supplied in our LTC facility was gentler on my hands than more frequent handwashing, but I did follow the rules to wash in between five pts. The product left the blding when the state did ?

    Glad to see all these great responses,
  2. by   Glad2behere
    One of those ideas so simple, unique, and effective that one wonders why it took so long for someone to think of it! In hindsight, obviously obvious, who'd a thunk it!
  3. by   sjoe
    From what I have read about these hand gels, it is not surprising that many of you don't feel that they clean your hands. THEY DON"T and aren't designed to clean your hands. They are designed to kill a variety of microbes ONLY. If you need to clean other "stuff" off your hands, you still need to use soap and water.

    I hadn't read anywhere else about the drying effect, however. (You get your news FIRST, here!) Adding aloe to the gel seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it? I always carry a small bottle of hand lotion around and use it frequently during the day if I need to wash or otherwise clean my hands often, but of course if that would happen to get contaminated somehow....
  4. by   Mkue
    Interesting, thanks !
  5. by   chartleypj
    Steris makes a foam waterless / brushless scrub system which is great. Non-drying and easy to use, it has decresed our surgical scrub time from the usual 5 minute brush/soap/water scrub to 90 seconds. I realize this change in technique may be a difficult concept for some of us dinosauers to accept, however studies show that waterless / brushless hand and scrub systems are far more efficient in the hospital setting.
    Bath & Body Works also makes a great gel for waterless washing at home or when a sink isn't an option.

  6. by   MollyMo
    I actually appreciate the waterless handwashing systems because I have an anaphylactic reaction to chlorhexidine gluconate-the antibacterial agent in Hibiclens. It's used where I work. I carry my own soap with me. I use it after I'm done with my patients. In between patients, I use the gel. But I have to wash that stuff off before I eat, go to the bathroom or even sit to chart. I don't like the feel of it, but I'm glad it's available.
  7. by   Agnus
    Our facility uses a foam alcohol cleaner. Easier on my hands than the soap and especially the paper towels we have.

    Like one poster said it is not for cleaning it if for degerming. So, I wash as well.
  8. by   Youda
    Not too long ago, the local news talked about a local hospital that had replaced all the soap dispensers with alcohol dispensers. I said WHAT?

    I just got around to looking it up when I saw this thread. According to my old micro textbooks, alcohol at as low as a 60% solution will kill most microbes at 10 seconds of exposure d/t disruption of the cell membrane, including those with lipids in the cell wall, and also denuration.

    These alcohol products will NOT kill spores or endospores (c.diff, for example), or nonenveloped viruses. Also, if there is any organic residues on the hands, microbes will hide there and will not be killed by the alcohol.

    Although I am respectful of these studies, particularly those that the CDC thinks is important, after my own reading, I think I would prefer to wash my hands, apply the gel, see the patient, then wash my hands, apply the gel, etc. In other words, use it as an addition to "hands hygiene" but not a replacement to good old fashioned hand-washing. That's MHO.
  9. by   KRVRN
    I sure hope it's as good as they say it is and really does kill everything on your hands... I work in the NICU and manager told us that aside from an initial 1 minute wash upon arriving at work, we could conceivable NEVER use soap and water unless our hands were visibly soiled. And I asked her that straight out... I could actually go a 12 hour shift and only wash my hands that first time. Unless the emmollients build up and feel yucky.

    But certain things concern me... Like, does the stuff really get under your nails and around the cuticles well enough? What if you have fake nails? (no, not starting a debate)

    And what really doesn't add up to me is that we only have soap and water in our restrooms. Is the gel not good enough for after using the bathroom? If not, then it's never good enough IMO.
  10. by   NICU_Nurse
    We *just* had an inservice on this stuff less than a week ago. I also work in the NICU, and we were still encouraged to wash our hands frequently, but they admitted that unless you're vigilant about handwashing you probably won't be vigilant about using the gel either. We were instructed to do a good, up-to-the-elbows scrubbing with Betadine foam upon entering the nursery for the first time, and every time that we leave (i.e., to go to lunch,etc.) and return. We were also told to wash up if we have had any contact with blood or other bodily fluids. We should be using the gel, they said, in addition to and not instead of washing. For instance, if we change a diaper prior to a feeding, we should use the gel before moving from the genitals to the mouth unless we weren't wearing gloves and our hands actually touched the soiled area. Then, after contact with that particular baby is finished, we should use the soap to wash thoroughly before moving on to another baby. I, personally, think it is a great idea to have the pumps (we also have small bottles all over the place now). Unfortunately, our infection rate has managed to stay fairly high relative to some of the other hospitals (whether this is because we're a teaching hospital or not, I don't know...) and anything that helps to bring it down is fine with me. I *like* the gels- they make me feel a little more confident that I'm doing everything I can to decrease my patients' exposure to bugs/bacteria. I am still washing my hands frequently, but I also use the gel as a back-up. It does get greasy/gritty after multiple uses, and I usually do not reapply more than once before I wash my hands again anyway. We were told to put the gel under the fingernails as well, btw, and to allow it to dry before touching anything.
  11. by   NicuGal
    We don't even do a scrub at the beginning of the shift anymore...we haven't for years I am not sure about this waterless system either. We were told the same thing, you could go 12 hours and not wash your hands. That is just kinda gross.

    And of course our hospital take the lowest bid and the stuff we got could eat the paint off your car! I said, why not just get cheaper and buy us each a bottle of alcohol and we can just douse our hands with that!
  12. by   Roland
    if any substance is capable of killing ALL pathogens (I think there are a few endospore forming bacilli that can even survive Iodine). With soap and water it is not necessary to KILL everything since effectiveness is achieved largely by WASHING THE PATHOGENS AWAY. This is to say nothing of more exotic agents such as prions which are resistent to almost everything EXCEPT being washed away. Give me soap and water any day.
  13. by   susanmary
    The antiseptic gels are outside every patient's room as well as stragetically placed in strategic points in the unit, outside med room, etc. I believe it is Purell. Very sticky and leaves residue. Slightly drying, but I use it. Prefer to wash my hands, and do so constantly.