As a healthcare worker, you probably know that infections caused by bloodborne pathogens can be very serious and even life-threatening. But what you may not realize is that proper hand hygiene can help protect yourself—and your patients—from contracting these viruses. it is estimated as many as 800,000 people per year become infected with HBV (hepatitis B), HCV (hepatitis C), or HIV due to occupational exposures related to healthcare settings.
Proper hand hygiene is critical to preventing the spread of bloodborne pathogens in a healthcare setting.
Proper hand hygiene is the first line of defense against bloodborne pathogens. Hand washing reduces the risk of transmitting infections from one person to another, and it helps prevent the spread of disease.
Handwashing can be done with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub if you don't have access to clean running water.
- After using the toilet or changing diapers;
- Before preparing food;
- After sneezing or coughing into your hands;
- Any time they become contaminated with blood, body fluids, or other potentially infectious materials (OPIM).
Hand hygiene is defined as the act of cleaning one's hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based products, followed by drying hands.
Hand hygiene is defined as the act of cleaning one's hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based products, followed by drying hands. It is a good idea that healthcare providers are at risk of being exposed to bloodborne pathogens when they do not practice proper hand hygiene.
Bloodborne Pathogens and Hygiene
It is recommended that washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rubs. Hand hygiene must be done before and after treating patients, performing any procedure involving blood, body fluids, or secretions, touching contaminated items (such as needles), and touching an infected patient's skin.
It is stated that healthcare providers are at risk of being exposed to bloodborne pathogens when they do not practice proper hand hygiene. They recommend alcohol-based hand rubs for most cases because they kill more types of germs than plain soap and water does, but if your hands are visibly soiled with dirt or grease you should use regular soap first and then follow up with an alcohol-based product afterward because it won't clean as well otherwise.
To use an alcohol-based product: wet hands thoroughly; apply 2 pumps of product into the palm of one hand; rub both hands together vigorously until dry
In addition to the threat posed by bodily fluids, mechanical aerosols may also cause bloodborne pathogen transmission.
In addition to the threat posed by bodily fluids, mechanical aerosols may also cause bloodborne pathogen transmission. There are several procedures that can create aerosols and therefore pose a risk of exposure if proper precautions are not taken. These include:
- Procedures in which workers come into direct contact with open wounds or body fluids (such as during surgery)
- Procedures involving needles or sharp instruments (such as drawing blood or injecting medications)
If you participate in any of these activities and are at risk for exposure, you should talk with your supervisor about how best to protect yourself from splashes and sprays.
Many types of healthcare workers need to be concerned about their risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens in the workplace.
Many types of healthcare workers need to be concerned about their risk of exposure to bloodborne pathogens in the workplace. In addition to nursing and medical staff, lab technicians and health care assistants are also at risk for contracting bloodborne pathogens from patients or from other sources such as needles that have been used on an infected person. All healthcare workers should follow proper hand hygiene practices in order to prevent the spread of these diseases. Hand hygiene is defined as the act of cleaning one's hands with soap and water or with alcohol-based products, followed by drying hands
It is estimated around 800,000 people are infected annually with HBV, HCV, and HIV
It is estimated that around 800,000 people are infected annually with HBV, HCV, and HIV from occupational exposures related to healthcare settings. This is a significant concern for healthcare workers who may be exposed to bloodborne pathogens while treating patients or performing tasks such as cleaning up after surgery or childbirth. It's also a huge problem for patients who may contract an infectious disease while in the hospital and then go home where they could spread it further if they don't realize they were exposed until later on (and even then).
The best way you can help prevent these infections? Proper hand hygiene! Make sure you wash your hands frequently throughout your shift, especially before touching any patient contact equipment like stethoscopes/gloves/masks, etc., so that when you do touch something like this there won't be any bacteria left behind on your skin which could cause an infection in someone else down the line (such as yourself). You also needn't worry about using gloves as substitutes for proper hand washing because they aren't always necessary depending on what kind of job role it is - but if there's any doubt whatsoever then just stick them on anyway! If nothing else happens except maybe making some people feel better about themselves by being extra cautious (and maybe saving lives), then great job!
If you don't practice proper hand hygiene while treating patients at your job, you could be putting yourself at risk for contracting one of these viruses or other infections.
If you're not practicing proper hand hygiene while treating patients at your job, you could be putting yourself at risk for contracting one of these viruses or other infections.
How often should I wash my hands?
We recommend that healthcare workers wash their hands:
- Before starting work (e.g., before putting on gloves).
- After contact with blood or other body fluids that may contain blood (e.g., urine, feces).
- After removing gloves (e.g., when taking off disposable examination gloves) and disposing of them in accordance with local protocols; if possible use an alcohol-based hand rub rather than soap and water as this will provide a quicker method for disinfection.
- After coughing/sneezing into cupped hands instead of into the air; sneezing directly into the tissue can also help prevent cross-contamination.
- After touching surfaces such as doorknobs or keyboards that are frequently touched by others who might have been exposed to an infectious disease agent.
- Between procedures when changing from sterile gloves back into non-sterile clothing such as scrubs or street clothes.
If you are a healthcare worker and have not been practicing proper hand hygiene, it is time to start. It may seem like an easy thing to do, but there are many factors that can make it difficult or even impossible. We hope this post has given you some insight into why proper hand hygiene is so important and how it can protect both yourself and others from bloodborne pathogens in the workplace.