Compose a 1500 words essay on Effective hand hygiene in clinical settings. Needs to be plagiarism free!
Hand hygiene is very important for the general public especially those who handle food and those who work in medical centers as poor hand hygiene may cause respiratory infections such as influenza and common cold according to the Joint Commission Resources (2008). The Joint Commission Resources (2008) and Mulder (1999) concur that in healthcare provisions, hand hygiene is the responsibility to all people involved. This is because when the health practitioners have contaminated hands, the patients are put at risk of developing infections. Therefore, to prevent infections, the healthcare practitioners must decontaminate their hands before and after each and every episode of direct contact or care with a patient (AORN, 1999. Lautenbach, Woeltje & Preeti 2010). Currently, hand hygiene is recognized to be important in providing quality care to the patients and is included in the standards for hospital accreditation. There have been new developments in the area of medical care and due to these developments most research bodies have reviewed the available literature and come up with new guidelines for hand hygiene. The guidelines are intended for use by all healthcare practitioners within the healthcare settings. Bacteria on the skin There are two main groups of microorganisms that are found on the skin, that is, resident flora and transient flora. Transient floras are bacteria that colonize the superficial layer of the skin. The transient floras are commonly associated with healthcare infections but can easily be removed by hand washing or social hand hygiene. An example of transient flora is staphylococcus aureus. The resident floras colonize the deeper layer of the skin and are difficult to remove. Examples include diphtheroids and coagulase negative staphylococci. The resident floras are usually not associated with healthcare infections according to CDC (2002) and Lindh, Pooler and Tamparo (2009). Hand hygiene is intended to reduce colonization with transient flora. Removal of the transient flora can be achieved through hand washing or hand disinfection. Hand washing is the use of water alone or the use of water and unmedicated detergent to clean the hand according to Mulder (1999) and CDC (2002). The main objective of hand washing is to prevent cross transmission of disease causing organisms. Hygienic hand wash is also similar to hand washing except that instead of unmedicated detergent, an antiseptic agent is used. Hand disinfection refers to the use of antiseptic solution, either medicated soap or alcohol to clean the hand. Substances used in hand hygiene There are different types of substances used in hand hygiene for cleaning. The substances used include soap and detergents, antibacterial soap, hand antiseptic and water. These substances are used to clean different dirt. For example, water alone cannot be used to clean the skin because on its own it cannot remove fats, oils and pathogens. it has to be used together with soaps and detergents. The temperature of the water used in cleaning the hands also varies, for in some instances warm water is used and in some cold may be used. For instance, when cleaning oils or fats it is advisable to use war water (World Health Organization, 2006). Antibacterial soaps are those with antibacterial agents that help in fighting or cleaning the bacteria and the hand antiseptics are non water based hand hygiene agents. The hand antiseptic