Medical Monday Handwashing

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 12:34 PM EST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Hand washing is something most people do without thinking, but might not be doing correctly. Julie Tutt, Manger of Quality and Infection Prevention at Northern Light AR Gould Hospital says, “If you’re using soap and water to wash your hands, you really want to do it for a minimum of 20 seconds. You want to make sure to get the backs of your hands, in between your fingers, you know around your nail beds, underneath your fingernails. It’s really that friction that’s really effective. So you want to make sure like I said that you’re scrubbing all those locations for 20 seconds, and that good rule is sing happy birthday twice and that will get you to your 20 seconds and than rinse.”

Tutt tells us what temperature our water should be to be effective.

“It’s really gotta be that warm water that’s really effective. I mean cold water isn’t completely ineffective, but for it to be 100% you really want to use that warm water.”

Using a hand sanitizer is a good alternate if you are unable to wash your hands, but Tutt says it’s important to remember if they’re soiled to wash with soap and water.

She says, “If they’re not effectively washing their hands; they’re putting themselves at risk for catching possibly covid, and now you’re thinking we’re getting into flu season. So influenza and RSV are big right now, right, we’ve seen the numbers starting to increase and it’s been quite early in the season for us. So if you’re not washing your hands good than either you know you’re still leaving germs on your hands and than if you touch your face or you know your eyes than you’re possibly transmitting it to those mucous membranes and giving it to yourself that way.”

Tutt adds if you aren’t washing your hands effectively those germs can be passed on to others as well. She encourages everyone at any age to wash hands thoroughly for everyone’s health safety.