Knowing that clean hands save lives, SAMC launched a new hand washing campaign. Hospital employees signed pledges to make hand washing an essential part of their daily routine. This includes departments not involved in direct patient care. All SAMC employees touch items daily which may be touched by patients, visitors and employees involved in direct patient care.
Hand washing is the single most powerful defense against acquiring or spreading infections. Although germs are spread through the air, they are most easily spread through hand contact. Hospital policy is to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers going in and out of every patient's room.
When your hands do not appear dirty, use hand sanitizer. How should you use alcohol based hand sanitizer?
- Apply product to palm of hand.
- Rub hands together. Completely cover all surfaces of hands and fingers and rub until dry.
- Remember, do NOT use a paper towel to dry hands when using an alcohol based sanitizer.
When your hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water. How should you wash with soap and water?
- Wet hands using warm water.
- Apply soap, then lather and scrub for 20 seconds, especially between fingers and around knuckles and nails.
- Rinse hands under running water.
- Dry hands using paper towels.
- Remember to use a paper towel to turn off the faucet and to open door handles to exit.
In the photo, Chief Executive Officer Ronald S. Owen, left, and Chief Operating Officer Charlie Brannen trace their hands during a hospital wide hand washing initiative. The two administrators joined hundreds of fellow employees in pledging to be more diligent in hand washing. The pledge forms are on display outside the hospital's Terrace Cafeteria.