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Silly handwashing question.

Where is the proper location to wash your hands? Is it acceptable to wash hands in a residents (SNF) room.

I currently work in a SNF. I keep a bottle of gel sanitizer on my cart and use it when passing meds between patients. But considering of my 15 residents I have 7 gtubes (3 of which are trachs) I need to wash hands after administering meds to my tubes. I feel like I was told somewhere along the lines that no, you could not wash hands in the rooms. I know that people do (and I do sometimes too, since the only other sink is the soiled linen closet. Totally out of the way). If a state surveyor is behind you is it acceptable to wash your hands in their rooms.

hppygr8ful, ASN, RN, EMT-I

Has 18 years experience. Specializes in Psych, Addictions, Elder Care, L&D.

I personally hate hand sanitizer as it is a major contributor to resistant microorganisms plus the main ingredient in most Triclosan has been proven to effect hormonal and immune function in lab rats and people. I wash my hands in patient rooms all the time. Patients like to see you wash your hands.


cayenne06, MSN, CNM

Has 10 years experience. Specializes in Reproductive & Public Health.

I make it a point to wash my hands in my patient's room, where they can see me.


Has 3 years experience.

At the LTC facility I worked at, we weren't supposed to leave the room without washing hands. As far as what to do, it comes down to the policy and procedure manual at your facility.

Imagine this scenario though - you provide care/treatment/med, etc., let's say you even had gloves on. Your hands are considered contaminated until hand hygiene is performed. So, you leave the room and head to the soiled linen closet...on the way you encounter a resident who suddenly trips...your hands are contaminated - what do you do?

My point is - if your policy is actually to go to the soiled utility to perform hand hygiene, that policy needs to be looked at and revised. Policy should be written to ensure you never leave a room with contaminated hands.


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