Policies and Procedures:
HANDWASHING FOR HOME HEALTHCARE PERSONNEL


1.0 PURPOSES
The purposes of this policy are to:
1.1 Promote the prevention and control of infection.
1.2 Establish guidelines for handwashing in the home environment.

2.0 DEFINITIONS
2.1 Handwashing is the rubbing together of the surfaces of the hands with soap or antimicrobial agent followed by rinsing the hands in clean water.

3.0 POLICY
3.1 All patient care personnel will wash their hands using the technique outlined in this handwashing procedure.
3.2 Personnel will wash their hands:
3.2.A After entering the patient's home, before rendering care
3.2.B Before performing an invasive or sterile procedure
3.2.C Before contact with an immunocompromised patient
3.2.D After any care or treatment that involves touching organic materials or open wounds
3.2.E After handling contaminated materials, dressings, or equipment
3.2.F After completing patient care
3.3 If gloves are worn, handwashing must follow the removal of gloves.

4.0 PROCEDURE
4.1 Remove liquid soap and paper towels from black bag and place beside a sink that has warm, running water.
4.2 Roll up sleeves and remove jewelry.
4.3 Inspect hands and fingers for cuts or breaks in the skin. Report lesions to your supervisor.
4.4 Stand close to the sink, but refrain from leaning against the sink or touching the sink surface during washing.
4.5 Turn on the water using a paper towel to cover the faucets as you adjust the water flow and temperature. Water should be warm.
4.6 Discard paper towel.
4.7 Wet hands thoroughly, keeping your hands lower than your elbows.
4.8 Apply liquid soap to hands, and rub hands vigorously until a lather is formed.
4.9 Wash hands for at least 15 seconds using circular motions.
4.10 Rinse hands thoroughly, keeping them down so that the water runs from the wrists to the fingertips.
4.11 Dry hands throughly using clean paper towels. Start with the fingers and move up to the wrists.
4.12 Use a dry, clean paper towel to turn off the faucet(s).
4.13 Discard paper towels in a proper receptacle.
4.14 After final use, return handwashing supplies to your black bag.
4.15 If you are in a home where there is no running water or where sanitary conditions are such that proper handwashing is impossible, scrub hands thoroughly using disposable antiseptic towelettes. Wash hands with soap and water as soon as possible.


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