Thursday October 15 was Global Handwashing Day – a day we take to re-educate and remind the world about appropriate hand washing, and celebrate the amazing work our people do every day to keep their patients safe through good hand hygiene. 

This year, however, we acknowledge that things are a bit different. COVID-19 has, in some ways, transformed what health care looks like in British Columbia, but has emphasized already important and practiced routines. This is the case with hand washing. 

We know that good hand hygiene is the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. That’s why it’s crucial, now more than ever, to dare to care and go bare below your elbows. 

The “Bare Below the Elbow” mentality is something we at Providence are opting into -because we believe it is the right thing to do. 

What Does Bare Below the Elbow mean? 

Being Bare Below the Elbows is exactly as it sounds. No rings with stones or ridges, watches, press-on/acrylic nails, or long sleeves (including lab coats and sweaters) when providing direct patient care.  Jewelry and gel nails should be removed to ensure that no germs are being harboured even when hand hygiene is complete. Short sleeves are important from simply a practical perspective – it’s hard to wash your hands and wrists effectively when you are trying to keep your sleeves dry!  

Why Now? 

The truth of the matter is that we’re living in a different world than we were seven months ago. A lot has changed. But what hasn’t changed is our steadfast commitment to patient safety and person-centred care – and, as we have heard over the last week, now is not the time to take our foot off the gas pedal. And we know we can do better! 

We hope you take us up on this challenge and join us by going bare below the elbows! 

This page last updated Oct 15, 2020 6:25pm PDT