Washing hands


Had our state survey and was told that after u wash and dry your hands that you need a fresh towel to turn off faucet!! Was never taught that in nursing school and looked up several sites on the issue and nothing is mentioned. Just asking your advice, being that your hands are already cleaned after washing.

boggle, ASN, RN

393 Posts

Specializes in Med-Surg.

Your hands are clean, but the faucet handles are dirty. So grab a dry paper towel to turn off the faucets. A wet towel or bare hands just allows the contaminants on the faucet to deposit themselves right back on your hands.


64 Posts

That makes sense. We were inservice real quick but no explanation. Thanks for replying. Wanted to give my friend an explanation.


401 Posts

Specializes in inerested in school nursing, peds, OR. Has 1/2 years experience.

We were taught that in my CNA class. In fact, many of my classmates failed their skills test because they did not include that step. Faucets are germy!!!!


4 Articles; 10,428 Posts

Was actually taught to use a dry towel to turn off handle, drop the towel for a NEW towel to dry hands. Otherwise, you're taking the towel that is now freshly covered in germs and wiping them all over your wet hands. Eww.

Sometimes I use my elbow to turn off the faucet, if it's convenient that way...some sinks it works.

Specializes in Orthopedic, LTC, STR, Med-Surg, Tele.

If you don't mind wasting water, let the water run while you dry your hands, then use used paper towel to shut off faucet without touching, then throw it away. That's how I was taught in CNA school, but it seems so wasteful to me.


64 Posts

No the state survey wants you to dry your hands then get a new towel to turn off faucet. I did it the way your saying last year and was told I washed my hands well. But it does make sense to use another towel being the faucet is dirty.


173 Posts

Never taught in school but I do it anyway. Just a common sense thing to do. Your hands clean faucet is not!


15 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

I just finished a PCT program and we were taught that way too! Had to be a clean, dry portion of the first paper towel used to dry your hands or a second clean, dry paper towel. You can get free CNA handbooks online that have the most up to date skills policies. Most of them apply directly to LTC, but they are helpful in any setting to keep up with basics like feeding, handwashing, bathing, ambulation, turning, ROM, etc. . .


2 Articles; 375 Posts

Strike through!

Darn that strike through!


64 Posts

No deficiency. We were deficiency free!


102 Posts

This is how we learned in CNA class too.

Sorry I hit post too soon, but we left the faucet running while washing our hands and turned it off with the paper towel that we dried our hands with.