Hand Hygiene in Healthcare:

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, proper hand washing procedures can prevent the spread of illnesses. About 1 in 31 hospital patients has at least one healthcare-related infection, partly because healthcare providers clean their hands less than half of the times they should. Regular hand washing, before and after activities, removes germs and stops the spread of infections. Clean hands save lives.

Hand Washing Steps for Nurses:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water

  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with soap

  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds

  4. Rinse your hands with clean, running water

  5. Dry your hands with a clean towel

This 5-step hand washing procedure should take at least 2 minutes

  • Hand washing must be done before and after every skill and sometimes in between

  • Hand washing should be done before and after you wear gloves and before and after you touch a patient

  • During the hand washing procedure, your clothing should never touch the sink or countertop as that can spread germs

As mentioned previously, you will be required to take an exam to obtain your CNA license. This exam will consist of two portions, a written exam and a clinical exam (acting out your skills). 

When performing the clinical portion of the exam, you will be specifically tested on the proper hand washing technique required for medical personnel. You will also be tested on other skills that utilize proper hand washing technique before, after, and sometimes during the skill. Failure to learn and demonstrate proper hand washing technique will cause you to fail your CNA exam and will delay you from obtaining your license.

Proper hand washing technique is a basic, but crucial skill required to become a CNA. Every other skill within a CNA’s repertoire will include the utilization of proper hand washing technique. Being able to wash your hands the right way will not only help you become a CNA, but will protect you against harmful pathogens and disease.

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