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The page below is a sample from the LabCE course Infection Prevention and Control for Healthcare Personnel. Access the complete course and earn ASCLS P.A.C.E.-approved continuing education credits by subscribing online.

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Proper Hand Washing Technique

Hand hygiene is the first line of defense and hand washing is generally considered the single most important procedure for preventing the spread of hospital-acquired infection. Hand washing is to be used in conjunction with Standard Precautions.
Proper hand-washing techniques:
  1. Wet hands with warm running water.
  2. Apply enough soap to cover all surfaces.
  3. Thoroughly wash all parts of hands and fingers up to the wrists, rubbing hands together for at least 15 seconds.
  4. Rinse hands under running water and dry thoroughly with paper towels.
  5. Use paper towels to turn off faucet before discarding the towels in the waste receptacle.

2002 Center for Disease Control and Prevention's Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings [click to view / print]

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2009 World Health Organization's WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care [click to view / print]

Adobe Acrobat PDF file