3 barriers to hand hygiene compliance & how to fix them

The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses weighed in on the challenges nurses face when adopting hand hygiene and how to solve them.

Three challenges and solutions::

1. Not knowing when to practice hand hygiene. There are multiple instances where hand hygiene should be practiced. Using the five moments of hand hygiene defined by the World Health Organization can help nurses remember when to wash their hands. The five steps include washing hands before touching the patient, before a procedure, after touching body fluid, after touching the patient and after touching the environment.

2. Nurses thinking the OR is a sterile environment. There are multiple areas of contamination in the OR, including keyboards and the patient. Placing hand hygiene products near nurses in the operating room makes practicing hand hygiene easier.

3. Hand-washing practices are inconsistent. Defining hand hygiene protocols is inconsistent, according to the nurses association. Nursing leaders can eliminate confusion by educating other nurses about the WHO's five moments for hand hygiene.

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