Proper Hand Washing Techniques


Hand washing is an easy and effective way to stop the spread of germs and bacteria. In fact, the Center for Diseases Control and Prevention note that hand washing is the best way to prevent disease and infection.


Simply running your hands under a faucet is not effecient in the of cleaning and sterilizing of your hands. You must use proper hand washing  techniques to ensure your hands are clean and bacteria free.


Hand Washing Procedure


  1. Keeping your fingertips down, completely wet your hands and wrists under warm running water. 
  2. Apply soap to hands (liquid soap is  recommended)
  3. Vigorously lather hands with soap and water, wash between fingers, under nails and wrists. Wash for at least 30 seconds.
  4. Rinse thoroughly, making sure that water runs down from wrists to fingertips.
  5. Dry hands with a clean paper towel.
  6. Turn off the faucet using a paper towel to grasp handle.
  7. Dispose of paper towel properly.



 The Most common carriers of disease are your hands!



Things to Remember for Effective Hand Washing:

Check to see that paper towels are ready for use and that there is a waste basket before you begin to wash your hands.


  • Stand back from the sink to prevent contact with your clothes.
  • Be sure to use enough soap to get a thick lather. It loosens the microorganisms so they can be washed away with water.
  • The sink is a contaminated surface. If your hands touch it at any time start over.


You should NOT wear rings or bracelets while working because of the difficulty of keeping them (and your hands) clean.



When to Wash your Hands 

  • When you enter a client’s home.
  • Before and after every procedure
  • Before and after wearing gloves
  • Before preparing food
  • Before handling any items to be given to your client
  • After handling any items used by your client
  • Anytime your hands (or any other body parts) are contaminated with blood or body fluids
  • Anytime you use the bathroom
  • Anytime you blow your nose
  • Handling pets


Use of Disposable Gloves 

Disposable gloves provide a two-way barrier for the hands against pathogens. Once contaminated, they must be handled properly to prevent contamination of the hands or other areas.



Disposable gloves tear easily. Remove rings with sharp edges.


Disposable gloves should ALWAYS be worn when Providing Client Care Including;

  • Bathing and oral hygiene, including taking out and putting in dentures
  • Handling bed pans, commodes and urinals
  • Handling drainage bags
  • Handling bodily fluids and excrement including urine, feces, vomit, blood, and sputum
  • Handling soiled linens and equipment


When removing gloves grasp the inside of the cuff and remove the glove so that it comes off inside out. Discard into a designated container.


 You must wash your hands after taking your gloves off.  

A personal care attendant needs to be aware of the fact that hand washing is the single most important protection against the spread of infection. Learning how and when to wash your hands, washing your hands correctly and regularly will protect you and your clients from many infectious pathogens.