When you present as a patient at a hospital or healthcare facility in Providence County, you likely have (at the very least) one basic expectation: cleanliness. You anticipate that the rooms will be treated in have been thoroughly cleaned and sanitized, and that those treating you follow strict hygiene standards. Yet what if you were told that when it comes to latter, that expectation is not always being met? In fact, information shared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that many healthcare providers clean their hands less than half as often as they should.
Healthcare facilities are already breeding grounds for disease-causing microbes. Every day, healthcare workers may come in contact with any of the following pathogens:
- Staphylococcus aureus
- Clostridium difficile
- Hepatitis A
- Streptococcus pyogenes
What do each of the aforementioned microbes have in common? They can all survive for extended periods of time on the hands, and they can all be spread to you by healthcare workers through procedures as simple as taking your pulse or temperature, or securing a blood pressure cuff to your arm.
Providers may encounter up to 100 scenarios during a single shift where protocol tells them they should be washing their hands. After having contact with the surfaces of any inanimate objects in your immediate vicinity is one of them, as is before and after having any contact with your skin. Proper handwashing time is at least 15 seconds, during which time they should clean the palms and backs of their hands as well as between their fingers. Alcohol-based sanitizer should be used when available.
Your clinician should also wash his or her hands prior to putting on and after removing gloves. Plus, gloves should be changed in between touching infected and clean areas of your body.