Medical asepsis is a term used for procedures that reduce the germs & microbes in an environment. Hand washing is the simplest yet the most practical way of preventing the spread of harmful microorganisms. Therefore, as advocates of health, it is important that CNAs practice the routine of washing hands before and after giving care or doing a procedure. Washing hands should be made especially when our hands are visibly dirty or there is a possible contact with blood or other body fluids.
Hand washing should be practiced not only when we are caring for our residents but also in our everyday routine. We should wash hands before and after eating, going to the restrooms, cleaning etc. In this way, we are not only following healthy habits, but also preventing ourselves from sickness causing germs.
Proper hand washing is started by using soap and water along with friction for at least half a minute. To make sure that sufficient amount of time in hand washing is observed, it is recommended to do washing of hands while singing a happy birthday song two times. It should also include the proper cleaning of nails and involving the creases of the hands such as wrists and in between the fingers. After washing, it is important also to cut the nails short about a quarter of an inch and apply hand rubs or lotion to the skin of the hands. This is to prevent breaks of the skin which will be a good portal of entry for harmful germs.
In clinical settings, it is necessary also to do hand washing in most procedures whether they may be before or after. Wearing of gloves is vital especially if you are giving care to a resident and there is a possibility of contact to blood, or fluids that can be harmful. There may be instances wherein you will be giving the same care or doing the same procedure to the different patient, for that reason, you should always keep in mind to change gloves before starting the same procedure or care. This is to not contaminate other clients or residents with other resident’s blood or body fluids.
Each facility or agency has their own version of how to maintain medical asepsis therefore it is necessary to know such policies and abide by them. The facility’s policies and regulations regarding protecting residents while providing the necessary care and controlling infection should be followed by each and every member of the health team whether they are a long term or an acute facility. Standard precautions should be in accordance with the Center for Disease Control guidelines.