HAND HYGIENE WEEK – GOING BARE BECAUSE WE CARE
Last year for Hand Hygiene Day, we launched the Bare Below the Elbows campaign – an opportunity for us to encourage each other to go sleeveless below the elbows and improve our hand hygiene. We know that hand hygiene is important in keeping our patients, residents, ourselves and our loved ones safe – and during the COVID-19 pandemic this was more important than ever.
WHAT IS BARE BELOW THE ELBOWS?
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!
While the concept of “bare below the elbows” has never been formally tested in a clinical trial, there is biological plausibility that clothing could transmit infection. Going bare below the elbows has the potential to benefit, poses no risk for harm, and is virtually free to implement.
As part of our Hand Hygiene Week here at Providence, we’d like to encourage everyone to take on the Bare Below the Elbow mentality!
REMINDER: LEARN MORE ABOUT HAND HYGIENE FROM OUR INFECTION CONTROL PRACTITIONERS AND PPE COACHES
The Infection Control Practitioners (ICPs) and PPE Coaches will be conducting their usual daily rounds with teams in Acute and Long Term Care areas and ICPs will be on-site in our Long Term Care sites on the following days:
- May 4: MSJ LTC
- May 5: Langara, Youville, and Brock Fahrni
- May 7: MSJ LTC, HFH LTC & Rehab
If you need to reach PHC’s Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPAC), please call local 69357. Do not contact individual IPAC team members.