When to Observe Hand Hygiene Protocol during Wound Care
Nurse educated the patient and caregiver upon when to observe hand hygiene protocol during wound care as follows:
- Perform hand hygiene before donning the gloves and starting to gather wound care supplies in the patient environment. The supplies are considered a clean environment and accessing the supplies without proper hand hygiene can potentially contaminate them. Read through the wound care orders carefully and gather all the supplies needed. Make sure you have all the supplies needed in place, before starting to perform the wound care.
- While performing wound care on a patient, doff the gloves and perform hand hygiene every time you go from dirty/contaminated surface to clean surface, such as, accessing the supplies. Trying to access the supplies in patient environment in the midst of the wound care process can potentially contaminate the supplies and patient environment. If you were to access the supplies while performing the wound care, doff the gloves and perform hand hygiene before accessing the supplies.
- While performing wound care on a patient, doff the gloves and perform hand hygiene every time you go from dirty/contaminated/soiled body part to a clean body part on the same patient. Trying to access the clean body part in the midst of the wound care process with soiled gloved hands, without observing hand hygiene, can potentially contaminate the clean body part. If you were to access the clean body part after accessing the patient’s wound, doff the gloves, perform hand hygiene, and don clean gloves again before accessing the clean body part.
- In a situation when you are caring for more than one wound on the same patient, doff the gloves and perform hand hygiene every time you change the wound caring for. Individual wounds can have different environments and bacteria thriving. Trying to access different wounds during the wound care process with soiled gloved hands, without observing hand hygiene, can potentially lead to transmission of infections between the wounds. During the wound care process, always remember to doff the gloves, perform hand hygiene, and don clean gloves again before accessing a different wound site.
- Always perform hand hygiene after coming into direct contact with wound drainage, body secretions, blood & body fluids, and excreta. Performing wound care without observing hand hygiene, after coming into contact with body fluids & secretions can potentially lead to wound contamination.
- Always perform hand hygiene after completing the wound care process, immediately after doffing the gloves. This can help prevent transmission of infection, if any, to other patients you are caring for the day. This can also help prevent contaminating other clean surfaces in the work environment.
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