Now Streaming: Infection Control in the Long Term Care Setting

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus?

According to the World Health Organization, fever, tiredness and dry cough and trouble breathing are some of the most common symptoms. It can be more severe for some persons and can lead to pneumonia or breathing difficulties. More rarely, the disease can be fatal and severely affect people; older persons and persons with pre-existing medical conditions appear to develop serious illness more often than others.

How can you protect yourself and your staff?

Maintaining a clean work environment and practicing proper Hand Hygiene are foundational steps in the prevention of infectious spread. According to the CDC, “Employees should clean their hands before and after each patient contact, before donning sterile gloves, after glove removal, and after touching patient equipment and environmental surfaces.”

Be sure to keep in mind when Hand Hygiene is most appropriate. This includes but is not limited to:
  • Before, during and after touching food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating an open wound
  • Touching doorknobs
  • Touching on and off light switches
  • Handling a cell phone
  • Using an arm rest
  • Riding a car/bicycle
  • Exchanging money
Simple Steps to Proper Hand Hygiene

Soap and Water
Follow these steps every time:
  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold).
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
  • Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Alcohol-based Hand Rub
Follow these steps:
  • Apply the gel product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount).
  • Rub your hands together.
  • Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry. This should take around 20 seconds.
Grooming Fingernails
Fingernail length is another component of hand hygiene for professionals.
  • For cleansing to be most effective, nails should be no more than one-quarter inch long.
  • According to the CDC and the Joint Commission, staff that provide direct patient care should also not have artificial nails or appliques, as they harbor pathogens, including gram-negative bacilli and yeasts.
  • Fresh nail polish may be used; however, chipped polish may support bacterial growth even after scrubbing.
For More Information:
Hand Hygiene is one of the many steps in controlling the spread of infection. To inquire about additional video programs and courses related to the topic of infection control, click the Contact Us button below.
Sources: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses, https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/03/03/811690163/9-coronavirus-deaths-now-reported-in-washington-state, https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html