Hand Hygiene at Neonatal Unit

What is Hand Hygiene?

Hand Hygiene is the general term that refers to the action of hand cleansing. Hands are the main pathways of germ transmission and the most important way to avoid spreading harmful germs and prevent healthcare associated infections is hand hygiene.


Why is Hand Hygiene Important?

Hand hygiene is one of the most important ways to prevent the spread of infections. Germs are often harmless but they can also cause illnesses such as colds, tummy bugs as well as a more serious illness like flu, E.Coli, MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

We all pick up germs routinely on your hands when we touch the environment such as door handles, telephones and after using the toilet and coughing or sneezing into your hands. 

Remember : Clean looking hands may still carry a lot of germs.


How Do I Clean My Hands Properly? (Watch CUH Hand Hygiene Technique video)

There are a number of ways to keep your hands clean and free from germs.

  • Wash your hands with dispensed liquid soap (1 or 2 shots of soap) and warm running water. This is recommended before entering the Neonatal Unit
  • Alcohol-based hand rub or gel. This is recommended if soap and water is not available or if you are advised by the NNU Staff.


Before Hand Hygiene

It is important to remove any items, from the hands and wrists, that will interfere with Hand Hygiene.  No hand or wrist jewellery.

Please do not wear anything on your wrists; this includes jewellery, bands and/or long sleeves. It is essential that wrists are cleaned during the hand hygiene procedure.  No Rings with stones.

Please do not wear rings with stones or designs as these will not be cleaned during hand hygiene. One smooth band is acceptable.

Technique using dispensed liquid soap and running water  

    1. Remove your jewellery; this includes rings with stones, wrist watches and bracelets.
    2. Roll up your sleeves or wear short sleeves
    3. Wet your hands and apply soap from the dispenser.
    4. Rub all parts of the hand and wrist vigorously for 20 seconds (see step by step pictures below).

Technique using alcohol gel/rub

    1. Remove your jewellery; this includes rings with stones, wrist watches and bracelets.
    2. Roll up your sleeves or wear short sleeves
    3. Apply alcohol gel and rub onto all surfaces of the hands and wrists until the gel/rub is completely dry.


Hand Hygiene Technique

Follow these simple steps given by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to remove germs and ensure your hands are clean. These steps can be used for both soap and water wash and alcohol gel use.



Last Modified Date: 29/01/2021 11:16:09

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