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Hand Hygiene-Help Stop the Spread of Germs!


Hand washing is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of infection and stay healthy. It is best to wash your hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

To wash hands, wet them in clean running water, apply soap and rub for 20 seconds. Singing “Happy Birthday” twice takes about 20 seconds. Rinse well, then dry and turn off the faucet with a paper towel.

To use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, apply the product to one palm. Rub over all surfaces of hands and fingers until dry.

Always wash your hands:

  • After using the bathroom;
  • After changing diapers or cleaning up after a child who has gone to the bathroom;
  • Before you eat;
  • Before and after preparing food;
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing;
  • After handling animals or animal waste;
  • After handling garbage or something that could be contaminated;
  • Before and after contact with patients or sick people and objects that can be touched by patients or sick people.

Hand washing is a simple way to stay healthy and prevent the spread of germs. Make it a habit!

Additional resources:

Hand Dermatitis in Healthcare Workers
Clean Hands Save Lives!
Clean Hands Help Prevent the Flu
VUMC Infection Control Manual Hand Hygiene Policy

Posted on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 in Health Plus, Keeping You Safe At Work, Resource Articles and tagged ,


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