The job of a nurse is not an easy one. It involves them working in a high-risk environment and often encountering a wide range of potential hazards while on the job. Sometimes, their calling puts them in the line of deadly diseases, even as they valiantly continue with their duties and responsibilities. Therefore, proper hygiene practices are of the utmost importance for those in the nursing profession.
Here are a few tips on personal hygiene for nurses –
Wear gloves at all times - As part of your job, you may have to administer medications intravenously to the patient or come in contact with heavily soiled and contaminated substances. Not wearing gloves or the improper use of gloves can expose you to a host of infectious diseases. Therefore, you must wear them at all times, when you are on-duty. You must also keep changing them between work hours to avoid contracting diseases. Disposable gloves are a good option, so you can wear them off and dump them completely in a covered dustbin.
Wash hands thoroughly - We already know the importance of handwashing as part of daily hygiene, but for nurses, this is even more essential. No matter how clean and sterile your work environment is, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly as soon as you encounter surgical tools and equipment – scissors, scalpel, needles and syringes. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends washing hands with water and soap, preferably in liquid form, for at least 20 seconds. In case you do not have access to either of these, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content, to wash hands.
Focus high-touch areas - Avoid touching surfaces, such as doorknobs, bed rails, remote controls, and telephones in the patient’s room with bare hands, as these are highly contaminated areas and are prone to bacteria. Wash your hands immediately after being exposed to such high-touch surfaces, and certainly after using the toilet.
Maintain cleanliness at all times - No matter how exhausting your day might have been, be sure to change your uniform once you get back home. Get a shower, change into clean clothes before you start with your household chores or even before you come in contact with any of your family members. Wash your hospital clothes with mild disinfectant and detergent and dry them completely before wearing the same set the following day.
It takes a lot of dedication and compassion to be in a nurse’s profession. Sometimes, it can be hard to keep up with one’s health while caring for others. However, with proper measures, you can maintain good hygiene for yourself, as well as, others. Maintaining hygiene and keeping the hospital facilities clean for healthcare workers and patients should be of top priority.