COVER STORY: Training vital for effective hygiene

Essity’s Liam Mynes considers the importance of training in order to ensure good hand and surface hygiene outcomes in the healthcare and elderly care sectors.

It is now widely understood that healthcare staff need to ensure that their hands are kept clean at all times to prevent the spread of infections in hospitals. The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly brought home to us the importance of hand hygiene – as well as surface cleaning – when interacting with vulnerable patients. But how often should the hands be washed, and how can hand-cleaning be executed in the most effective possible way? What constitutes a good “surface clean” and how do cleaners know whether or not they are carrying it out properly?

Training is vital to ensure that all members of staff know what to do and when to do it. In fact, studies show that many healthcare workers would actually like to be given enhanced hand hygiene instruction.

A recent survey carried out by United Minds on behalf of Essity revealed that 80 per cent of healthcare professionals were keen to improve their hand hygiene compliance, adding that they found most traditional training modules uninspiring. Around 60 per cent of the 1,000-plus staff members polled said they would also like hand hygiene to be given a higher priority in their unit.

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