COVID-19 has taught the general global public a lot about good infection control policies. However, caregivers and other professionals throughout the medical field have already been familiar with how to keep ourselves and our clients safe. You already have the tools to feel confident as you provide care to your clients.
Reviewing good infection control policies and practices is always a good idea. In the midst of the pandemic, now is a great time to brush up on your skills.
Good Hand Washing
The foundation of infection control is good hand washing. Remember these tips to ensure you are practicing safe and healthy hand washing today and in the future:
- Use warm or cold water (it doesn’t matter) to wet your hands first
- Use soap to work a lather over your hands, including the tops and bottoms of your palms
- Rub and scrub for at least 20 seconds
- Rinse under running water
- Dry using a clean towel
Always wash your hands when entering a client’s home, before preparing food, as well as before and after personal care. Encourage your client to wash their hands too.
Hand Sanitizer Basics
Soap and water are always the preferred way to wash your hands. However, hand sanitizer can work in a pinch. Here’s what you need to know about hand sanitizer:
- Only use sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol
- Rub the sanitizer over all parts of your hands, including the tops and bottoms of your palms
- Rub your hands together until your hands are dry (about 20 seconds)
Want more information about hand washing? Check out the CDC's website.
Personal Protective Equipment
PPE, or personal protective equipment, has always been a staple of caregiving. In fact, many caregivers are never more than a few steps away from a pair of gloves. Today, wearing gloves and other personal protective equipment is especially important.
- Gloves are used so that bodily fluids are not transmitted from client to caregiver
- Use your gloves when assisting with personal care tasks or other chores that may include bodily fluids (toileting, bathing, washing soiled linens, etc.)
- Put on your gloves prior to starting the task and take them off after completing the task
- Remove gloves carefully and correctly before disposing in a garbage can
- Wash hands after removing gloves
- Wear a face mask as indicated by your agency and state regulations
Remember, you have the tools for good infection control. You know how to protect yourself and your clients.
Wash your hands and encourage your clients to do the same.
It makes a huge impact, and we are cheering you on.