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Which is better, handwashing or hand sanitizer?

Nurses   (4,736 Views 31 Comments)
by queenjean queenjean (Member) Member

queenjean has 9 years experience .

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You are reading page 3 of Which is better, handwashing or hand sanitizer?. If you want to start from the beginning Go to First Page.

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Ofcourse as everyone here has been taught...you should always wash if visably soiled and probably use sanitizer as well. We did a study in our micro class and discovered that using the sanitizer with ethyl alchohol worked the best over handwashing etc... So doing both up is going to protect you and the clients best. We also learned that if the sanitizer dried in less than 15 seconds you didn't apply enough. So, I guess it's safe to say that two squirts is adequate.

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karenna specializes in 12 years hospital floor nursing.

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Sanitizer--cause you're more likely to actually do it between patients. Who the heck has time to wash their hands while whistling happy birthday? Unless hospitals and nursing homes have changed drastically since I left, nobody has time to do the soap, water, paper towel thing.

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RNperdiem has 14 years experience as a RN.

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Older hospitals often have poorly positioned sinks in public areas. If there is only one hallway sink and the rest of the sinks are in patient bathrooms(and often these are isolation rooms), then an alcohol foam dispenser outside each room is great.

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SmilingBluEyes has 20 years experience.

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What the others said. Hand washing when contaminated or suspect you are. Sanitizer ALWAYS when you enter and again, exit, a patient room when not obviously contaminated. Our hospital is doing studies for "hand hygiene compliance" and it is required to sanitize between any and all patient contacts. I have recommended they then put the sanitizer at the door of every room, to make compliance easier. Access to the sink is sometimes blocked by various objects or visitors. And right now, that is where our hand sanitizer is. It would be easier to use it if it's at the door of every room IMO.

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Anyone have any problems w/reaction to avaguard (nausea, dizziness)? It would seem that you're absorbing a huge amt of alcohol into body from constant use.

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pagandeva2000 is a LPN and specializes in Community Health, Med-Surg, Home Health.

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I think that handwashing wins hands down. In my facility, the rule of thumb is that if the hands are not visibly soiled, you can use sanitizer say, three times, then, afterwards, there must be a handwash. I never felt that my hands were clean enough after using sanitizer, personally. It is sticky and uncomfortable for me, but have to use them frequently as a vaccination nurse.

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My facility is ok with either soap and water or hand sanitizer for routine cleansing, but if there is visible soiling, soap and water should be used. Also, our CNS told us that hand sanitizer is good for 5-6 times, then you should wah your hands.

Personally, I like soap and water and do not really like hand sanitizer if there is an option. I can't get over feeling like there are still germs on my hands, but I just cleansed them and moved them around a bit.

If anyone has any research links, please post. I'd love to see what evidence based guidelines recommend.

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