There are many colleges
and universities where a student can study nursing, however; no matter where
you go, the first thing you will learn is: how cleanse your hands. Hand hygiene
can seem quite simple to the untrained eye, but not to the healthcare worker.
Proper hand hygiene is the number one way to prevent the spread of infection.
Most pathogenic microbes are spread through contaminated hands, approximately 2
million patients each year obtain a hospital acquired infection (HAI) from
heath care workers hands (Taylor, Lillis, Lynn, 2015).
the article: What was the purpose of the research? What did the researches do?
What were the results?
In the research article
Electronic Monitoring of Individual Healthcare Workers’ Hand Hygiene Event Rate
by Muller and Levchenko, the authors tested the idea that electronically
monitoring heath care workers movements in relation to hand hygiene would
improve the amount of hand hygiene preformed in a twelve hour shift. The
purpose of this article was to test a theory that observing health care workers
electronically and providing real- time feedback would improve the number of
hand hygiene events and compliance of the individual health care worker (Muller
and Levchenko, 2014).
a device called an Electronic Hand Hygiene Monitoring System (EMS) the authors
had volunteer nurses participate in this experiment of observing hand hygiene. The
researches increased the number of alcohol based hand rubs outside and inside of
ten patient’s rooms and monitored the number of times the sanitizer was used
from ten out of twenty-five nurses on the unit, per twelve hour shift (hand
soap was not included). The authors hypothesized that monitoring the health
care workers usage of alcohol based hand rubs and providing in person regular
feedback would increase hand hygiene events (Muller and Levchenko, 2014).
Over a twelve week course, the researchers analyzed the
results and found that although, the median number of times a health care
worker preformed hand hygiene increased initially; each workers hand hygiene
events remained consistent throughout the experiment with no improvement in
quality of hand hygiene performance or compliance (Muller
and Levchenko, 2014).
how the findings in this article can influence your nursing care of patients.
Sometimes monotonous tasks such as proper hand hygiene
can be overlooked, but it is one of the most important actions nurses can do to
ensure the safety of our patients. Breaking the chain of infection through hand
hygiene can decrease HAI’s significantly. Approaching my first clinical and
with some healthcare experience already behind me, it is very easy to get
caught up in a task and forget to wash your hands or use an alcohol based hand
rub and go directly to the next patient or contaminate commonly used items.
According to the findings in this article, being electronically monitored did
not increase the number of times hand hygiene occurred, however; health care
workers knowledge that they were being tracked did increase hand hygiene events
per hour from each individuals baseline data. Encouraging myself and my peers
to monitor our hand hygiene and working as a team will better protect our
patients and solidify a good foundation and routine of hand hygiene while we
are still learning so we can carry these skills with us wherever we go.
you think about the paper, what other research could be done?
research that could be done in consideration of this article would be to not
only document the use of alcohol-based hand rubs, but also hand washing with
soap and water which was not included in this study. According to the article, the
authors considered the use of verbal tones upon entering and leaving patients
rooms to que health care workers to perform hand hygiene (Muller and Levchenko,
2014). Verbal reminders or even a positive tone could remind the health care
worker that it is time to perform the appropriate hand hygiene. Scanning patients
and their medications has significantly reduced medication errors in the
hospital setting; perhaps scanning the health care workers badge at hand
sanitizer pumps and at sinks would allow for accurate data to be obtained on
the amount of hand washing performed. From this data, the hospital could keep
track of nurses who may need to be retrained on appropriate hand hygiene
techniques, ultimately increasing the hand hygiene of the nursing staff and
reducing the risk of HAIs.