They can offer hope, healing, and comfort
Then can create, protect, and defend
They can also be the route of transmission for pathogens.1
80% of hospital staff who dressed wounds infected with Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) carried the organism on their hands for up to three hours!
60% of hospital staff, within 1/2 hour of contact with patients with Clostridium difficile infection, were contaminated without even having touched the patient, from merely returning drug charts to the ends of beds!
In an ICU study, 40% of all patient-nurse interactions resulted in the same species of Klebsiella pneumoniae transmission to healthcare workers' hands, lasting up to 150 minutes, even with contact as slight as touching a patient's shoulder!
Meanwhile, washing with soap and water virtually eradicated these organisms!
building hand hygiene into simple routines, such as when you use aseptic techniques when starting IVs or inserting catheters
practicing spontaneous, automatic hand hygiene activities when entering and leaving the clinical setting
modelling optimal hand hygiene activities to peers and in the home to your family members
1 Stone, S.P. J of the Royal Soc. Medicine. 2001; 94(6): 278-281. Reprinted by Mitka, M. in the Journal of the American Medical Association November 3, 2009. 302(17).