Traditional hand washing compared to using alcohol-based hand hygiene products?

Question
Is traditional hand washing the best mode of preventing transmission of infections
compared to using alcohol-based hand hygiene products?
P- Population – Nurses
I – intervention – Educate nurses on the appropriate methodology of handwashing (i.e., 15
second rule of handwashing).
C – comparison – Will there be a group that does not receive the education – No. It should be
beneficial for everyone as it’s infection prevention.
O – outcome – Reduction in infections – Yes, there is a lot of literature that states it is the #1
way to reduce infections.
Philosophical Assumptions
One will assume basic hand hygiene can assist in reducing infections if not preventing
them. With increased hand hygiene, one will see decreased infections, along with decreased
mortality rates. As a nurse, I’ve seen the importance hand hygiene has played in preventing
TRADITIONAL HANDWASHING IS THE BEST MODE 6
infection transmissions. It is the number one way to prevent infections without unnecessary
untoward effects that other methodologies would provide. There has been much evidence that
points to hand washing as the gold standard for hand hygiene in the reduction of cross
contamination towards nursing staff and patients alike.

Health care associated infections are drawing increasing attention from patients, insurers,
governments and regulatory bodies. This is not only because of the magnitude of the problem in
terms of the associated morbidity, mortality, and cost of treatment, but also due to the growing
recognition that most of these are preventable (Mathur, 2011). The medical community is seeing
in tandem unparalleled advancements in the understanding of pathophysiology of infectious
diseases and the global spread of multi-drug resistant infections in health care set-ups (Mathur,
2011). These factors, along with the availability of new antimicrobials have compelled a re-look
into the role of basic practices of infection prevention in today’s healthcare environments. There
is now undeniable evidence that strict adherence to hand hygiene reduces the risk of crosstransmission
of infections (Samonte & Vallente, 2016).
Nurses are aware of the rationale for hand hygiene procedures and they represent a large
working group that performs the greatest amount of direct patient care in Health Services. Hand
hygiene is one of the most effective measures to prevent hospital acquired infections. Nurses
washing their hands not only prevents patients from getting sick, but it also reduces the risk of
infecting others (Malliarou, Sarafis, Zyga, & Constantinidis, 2013). The aim of this research is
to show the importance nurses and healthcare providers play in preventing hospital acquired
infections by simply washing their hands.

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