- Advertisement -



Hand washing involves both mechanical and chemical action. Careful washing of the hands reduces the number of bacteria

Hand washing is the single most important means of preventing the transmission of infectious agents. Careful washing of hands using soap, water and nail brush reduces the number of bacteria

Hand washing is most important to reduce the numbers of bacteria. Soap and water will emulsify fat, clean the hands and reduces the number of microorganisms


To encourage hand washing in following situations:

  • On starting and completion of duty shifts
  • Before performing any invasive and non-invasive procedure
  • Between handling of patient and between procedures on same patient
  • After handing contaminated articles like, urinal and bedpan, etc
  • After dealing with situations when microbial contamination is likely, even if gloves are used


  • Soap
  • Bowel with 7% Lysol
  • Nail brush
  • Towel
  • Running water

Precautions Taken During Hand Washing

  • Nails should be short to avoid the dirt and microorganism
  • Remove watch and jewelry from hands and wrists
  • Fold back sleeves above elbow (if necessary)
  • Stand away from wash basin
  • Avoid splashing water against uniform clothes


  • Turn on tap using elbow and regulate flow of water
  • Wet hands and lower arms under running water keep hand forearms lower than elbows during washing
  • Apply soap to hands, replace soap in dish
  • Scrub hands area between fingers and wrist in rotatory movement for 15 to 30 seconds
  • Clean finger nails with brush or use finger nails of other hand
  • Rinse hands and wrist, forearm and elbow in running water. Ensure that hand and forearms are lower than elbows during washing
  • Close tap with elbow
  • Dry hands from fingers to wrist and forearms now hold arms above elbow

Hands should be washed at the following times:

  • When visibly contaminated with blood, body fluids, or tissues
  • After every patient contact
  • After removal of gloves and other protective wear or equipment
  • Before eating, drinking, smoking, applying makeup, or changing contact lenses outside of the lab, and after using the lavatory facilities
  • Before all other activities that entail hand contact with mucous membranes or a break in the skin
  • Periodically during the day when routinely handling and testing bloody fluid

Do’s of Handwashing:

  1. Wet Your Hands Thoroughly:
    • Start by wetting your hands with clean, running water before applying soap.
  2. Use Enough Soap:
    • Dispense an adequate amount of soap to create a good lather.
  3. Scrub for at Least 20 Seconds:
    • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds, ensuring that you cover all surfaces, including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  4. Pay Attention to Fingernails and Jewelry:
    • Clean under your fingernails and around any jewelry, where germs can hide.
  5. Rinse Thoroughly:
    • Hold your hands under clean, running water to rinse off the soap and loosened dirt and germs.
  6. Dry Your Hands:
    • Dry your hands thoroughly using a clean towel or an air dryer. Ensure your hands are completely dry.
  7. Use a Paper Towel to Turn Off the Faucet:
    • If possible, use a paper towel to turn off the faucet to avoid recontaminating your hands.
  8. Use Hand Sanitizer When Needed:
    • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.

Don’ts of Handwashing:

  1. Don’t Rush:
    • Take the time to wash your hands thoroughly. Rushing may result in incomplete cleaning.
  2. Don’t Neglect Key Areas:
    • Ensure you clean all parts of your hands, including the wrists, between fingers, and under the nails.
  3. Don’t Skip Hand Drying:
    • Drying your hands is an essential step, as wet hands can spread germs more easily than dry hands.
  4. Don’t Ignore Proper Technique:
    • Follow the recommended technique for handwashing, including the proper sequence and duration of scrubbing.
  5. Don’t Use Hot Water:
    • While warm water can be more comfortable, excessively hot water may lead to skin irritation. Use warm water that is comfortable for you.
  6. Don’t Touch Surfaces After Washing:
    • Avoid touching surfaces with your clean hands after washing. If you must touch surfaces, use a clean paper towel.
  7. Don’t Use Expired Soap:
    • Check the expiration date of the soap to ensure its effectiveness.
  8. Don’t Forget to Perform Hand Hygiene at Critical Moments:
    • Remember to wash your hands after using the restroom, before eating, after touching potentially contaminated surfaces, and before and after caring for someone who is sick.
Handwashing Procedure - Purpose, Equipment, Precautions, Procedure
Handwashing Procedure – Purpose, Equipment, Precautions, Procedure


Previous article
Next article


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Related article

Nurse Info