The act of washing our hands his one of the most basic lessons that are taught to children to prevent the spread of germs. This is an even more important practice in the health sector. The patients who are in hospitals should be kept germ-free environs to the highest level possible through basic methods like observing hand hygiene. The World Health Organization began a program called Save Lives-Clean your Hands which aims to prevent infections through hand hygiene to combat antibiotic resistance (WHO, 2009). The program was started as a result of an increase in preventable Health-Care-Associated Infections (HCAI).
Hand hygiene compliance has been effectively increased where many complementary strategies have been used. They include support for the administration, the compliance of senior health practitioners, and availability of quick and efficient alcohol hand rubs, in-depth instruction and the provision of constant reminders (Mathur P, 2011).
Nurses are the primary caregivers of patients. They are key players in the healthcare delivery systems (Potter, Perry & Stockart, 2016). They have more hands-on contact hours with them compared to the doctors, and this means that their hand hygiene practices are extremely crucial to the prevention of cross transmitted infections. The nurses also handle the bed pans of the patients which expose them to more germs, increasing the risk of infections occurring. (Raymond, 2016)
The nurses also come into contact with other hospital staff such as the administrators and the kitchen staff. This increases the risk of spreading infections from the patients to the other hospital staff and vice versa. The nurses being the backbone of the hospitals means that their compliance with hand hygiene determines the efficiency or improvement of the health care delivery system.
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