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Handwashing: still a neglected practice in the clinical area

Handwashing: still a neglected practice in the clinical area

British Journal of Nursing 6(22): 1278-80, 1282-4

This article is an adaptation of the winning essay in the preregistration section of the National Board for Northern Ireland Research Awards 1996. The authors conducted a literature review of handwashing after discovering during clinical placements that, despite being well documented, handwashing is still not performed as necessary. The aim of handwashing is to remove transient microorganisms and prevent their transfer to susceptible patients. Inadequate training, lack of resources, chapped hands and poor reinforcement were identified by nurses as factors that accounted for poor handwashing. The Code of Professional Conduct states that 'the professional has a duty to promote and safeguard the interests of clients.' It is only a matter of time before major litigation occurs because of poor handwashing practice. It is concluded that all staff (trained and untrained) require regular educational updating to sustain good handwashing practices. Managers are responsible for ensuring the provision of adequate facilities and supplies of handwashing agents for all nurses in all clinical settings.

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Accession: 046211667

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 9470653

DOI: 10.12968/bjon.1997.6.22.1278

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