Hygiene is vital in healthcare. As well as keeping different environments hygienic, staff, visitors, patients and anyone else need to maintain good hygiene too. One of the challenges that can be faced, especially for healthcare staff, is managing hygiene while also caring for their skin. Good skin care is also important because skin that is dry or cracked could create an environment for bacteria. It’s important that your staff can keep their hands clean but also that they can look after their skin for both hygiene and for their happiness too. So what can you do to help your staff care for their hands?
Teach Good Handwashing Technique
Firstly, washing their hands in the right way will help your staff to prevent contact dermatitis or eczema. As well as protecting their hands, it will also ensure they are maintaining good hygiene. They should use warm water to wash their hands, rub their hands for at least 20 seconds and cover every part of their hands, fingers, and rest, then rinse thoroughly. Drying well after washing is also very important, especially between the fingers, where the skin can be more likely to crack. Soft, disposable paper towels should be provided for drying.
Choose the Right Products
The products that are used for washing hands make a difference to hand care too. A water-based lotion such as Zylast antiseptic hand soap and lotion can help to protect the hands compared to alcohol-based products. Non-perfumed products can also be kinder to the skin, especially for people who have sensitive skin. A soap substitute can be used in place of soap and is recommended for people who have suffered from contact dermatitis. It can be gentler on the skin and help to prevent eczema. In instances when staff should wear gloves, it can be a good idea to wear thin cotton gloves inside impervious gloves to prevent sweating.
Moisturizing hands after washing helps to prevent dry skin and keep your employees’ hands healthy. They can carry a small tube or bottle of moisturizer with them so that they can use it after washing their hands, as well as at frequent intervals throughout the day. It’s important not to use pots of moisturizer, which can become contaminated. However, you can provide dispensers for moisturizer around the workplace, as you would do with hand sanitizer and soap. Regularly moisturized hands prevent dryness and are more hygienic.
Use Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer can be a useful product to use in between handwashing. It doesn’t replace washing the hands but it can be used as an alternative to prevent the need for so much handwashing. It’s best for sanitizing the hands in between tasks and can be gentler on the hands than a full hand wash. It’s still important to wash the hands regularly too, especially if there is the visible matter on the hands that need to be washed off. Hand sanitizer can kill germs but won’t remove dirt.
While maintaining hygiene in the workplace, help your staff to look after their hands for extra protection.