Hand Washing Policy
Hand Washing Policy
Hand Washing is one of the most common tasks that nurses do throughout their day as they provide care for patients. According to the Centers for Disease Control, proper hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of infection. The policy for our unit was reviewed and then the process was observed. While observing, several common themes were seen that violates the hand washing policy.
Policy Location and Procedure
Our nursing policy is located on our hospital intranet. Nurses have no trouble finding the policy and are able to verbalize where the policy resides. Once the nurse has signed on to the intranet, they simply click on the policies tab, then click on nursing tab and finally locate the policy in an alphabetical list. In addition to locating the policy, nurses were also able to locate and show additional references for hand washing on the intranet.
Initial observation on the unit showed that most of the nurses follow the policy. However, there were some specific issues where the policy was not followed. When answering call lights, nurses would respond, turn off the call lights and respond to the patients needs. Often times, if a patient needed assistance getting out of bed or any task that required direct patient contact, the nursing staff would not wash their hands. The policy states “hands are to be washed before initiating direct care with patient” (Community Mercy Health Partners, 2006). When I asked the nurses why their hands were not washed, the majority of responses that I received were related to being in a hurry and being focused on taking care of their patients’ needs. The next issue was not actually the washing of hands but was an issue that directly deviated from the policy. Two of the nurses being observed had artificial nails. The policy states anyone involved in direct care may not wear artificial nails (Community Mercy Health Partners, 2006). These nurses were simply...