Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene, when done correctly, is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of organisms.  Good hand hygiene techniques are easy to learn and can significantly reduce the spread of infectious diseases.
When visiting a patient, hand hygiene becomes even more important.  Please use the alcohol based hand sanitizers throughout the facility before and after going into a patient's room.

Using Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers

Use of alcohol based hand sanitizer is the preferred method for hand hygiene in the hospital, if hands are not visibly soiled.

  1. Ensure hands are visibly clean (if soiled, follow hand washing steps)
  2. Apply between 1 to 2 full pumps of product, or squirt a loonie-sized amount, onto one palm.
  3. Spread product over all surfaces of hand, concentrating on finger tips, between fingers, back of hands, and base of thumbs.
  4. Rub hands until product is dry.  This will take a minimum of 15 to 20 seconds if sufficient product is used.

Washing with Soap and Water

Please use this technique if your hands are visibly soiled, but do not wash hands in the patient room.

  1. Wet your hands with warm running water. 
  2. Add soap, and then rub your hands together, making a soapy lather.  Do this away from the running water for at least 15 seconds, being careful not to wash the lather away.  Wash the front and back of your hands, as well as between your fingers and under your nails.
  3. Rinse your hands well under warm running water. 
  4. Pat hands dry with a paper towel. 
  5. Turn off water using same paper towel and dispose in a proper receptacle.

(Source: Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website)