Hand hygiene and surface cleanliness correlate with each other

Hygiene nurse Raija Uusi-Hakimo from Kuusiolinna Terveys emphasizes surface hygiene when developing hospital hygiene. Clean hands do not spread microbes around and hands are not contaminated by dirty surfaces.

– To develop our surface cleaning methods we take microbe samples from different units and compare their development. The results are interesting and constant monitoring makes the unit-specific improvements visible, says Uusi-Hakimo.

In hospital hygiene everyone’s input counts

Among Kuusiolinna’s hygiene contact persons one can find registered nurses, public health nurses, practical nurses and facility caretakers.

The caretakers do important hygiene work at each unit by keeping them clean. Basic cleaning is crucially linked to the cleanliness of surfaces: it improves hygiene and cuts off bacterial infection routes.

The nurses are also expected to clean up after themselves and clean all secretion stains with care. Each person participates in and impacts on the realisation and maintaining of hygiene in the hospital setting with their own work.

Reasonable use of protective gloves is essential

Protective gloves are a crucial part of the hygiene practices of many care units. However, when wearing these gloves one must remember that the use of the gloves must be safe for both the nurse and the customer.

Microbes are primarily transmitted via the exterior surface of the gloves and dirty gloves can contaminate the environment by spreading microbes from one surface to another.

According to Raija Uusi-Hakimo one should therefore change the gloves often enough and disinfect one’s hands carefully prior and after using the gloves. Unnecessary use of protective gloves should also be avoided.

 

Hygiene nurse’s tips for safe hand hygiene

  • Disinfect your hands after each customer contact
  • Do not wear rings of bracelets at work
  • Keep your nails short and clean
  • Do not wear nail polish
  • Ensure that the skin of your hands is intact and without cuts.