Handwashing Tips for Healthcare Workers

handwashing tips healthcare workersHelp keep the workplace germ-free!

In any healthcare profession, it’s crucial to help keep the workplace germ free for your patients. All healthcare professionals know that proper hand hygiene helps prevent diseases or infections that can easily spread to your patients. Washing your hands also reduces the risk of you picking up germs from patients.

Here are a few handwashing tips to remember while you go about your day:

1. Wash hands for the correct amount of time

Most people lather on some soap and rinse with hot water. However, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommend washing your hands with soap and water for at least 15 seconds. One way people can time themselves is to sing the “Happy Birthday” song in their head twice. If you don’t rub for this long, you can miss bacteria which will start to grow and spread.

2. Wash thoroughly

As a healthcare worker, you shouldn’t rush washing your hands. Remember to wash thoroughly: rub in between fingers, underneath fingernails, and halfway up the forearm. Make sure the water you’re washing with is warm. Heat helps kill germs!

3. Dry hands completely

After you wash your hands, make sure to thoroughly dry them. Any bacteria or microorganisms you miss can be transmitted easier when moisture is on your hands. Always dry your hands with a paper towel and avoid using the hand dryer. Studies show that the heat of a hand dryer actually helps bacteria grow.

4. Avoid long nails or nail tips

Fingernails–especially long ones—can easily pick up dirt and microorganisms throughout the day. Avoid bacteria on your hands by keeping nails trimmed to a ¼ inch. It’s also best to avoid fake nails since they can fall off or get stuck in gloves.

5. Know when to wash

Healthcare facility may have different handwashing policies. As a general rule, healthcare professionals should wash their hands:

  • Before patient contact
  • After touching a patient’s skin or body
  • After removing gloves
  • After handling specimens
  • After handling bodily fluids
  • After dressing wounds

These tips are based on the handwashing suggestions from the CDC’s Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-care Settings.


Harris School of Business proudly provides healthcare training programs including Nursing Aide, Surgical Technician, Medical Assisting and more! We enjoy providing training to the healthcare workers of the future. Contact us to learn more information or schedule a tour!