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Can your patient wash their hands before eating?

  • Comments (15)

Most of us were taught to wash our hands before a meal but how many patients confined to their bedside are given the opportunity to wash their hands before eating?

Do you offer patients a hand wipe or bowl to clean their hands?

Do you have time?

  • Comments (15)

Readers' comments (15)

  • Anonymous

    It is vital that patients are encouraged and given the opportunity to do so to discourage the spread of C diff Norovirus e.tc. Suitable wipes are rarely provided, and not all patients have, or able to get their own supply, and many cannot physically get to washbasin.

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  • Anonymous

    nothing in the NHS would surprise me anymore.

    patients having the facilities to wash their hands before meals and after using the toilets and staff exercising good hand hygiene is something I take for granted without having to even think about it.

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  • Anonymous

    all the patients I look after are given the opportunity to wash their hands before and after eating, going to the loo etc. - if they don't wash their hands what can I do?

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  • What ways could this be fostered?

    What about warm wash towels like one gets on some airlines, or at some Japanese Restaurants?

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  • Anonymous

    Michael Plishka | 11-Sep-2013 2:53 am

    "What ways could this be fostered?"

    what do mean fostered? this is normal basic hygiene in hospitals we are talking about!

    surely nurses fostered their own hand hygiene as children and again during nurse training.

    patients need soap and water not hot towels!

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  • Anonymous

    Perhaps finger bowls would be a nice touch, and a little doily.
    Seriously folks, this is basic stuff - we all know our patients should wash their hands before eating, going to the toilet and brush their teeth when they get up and before they go to bed.
    Not all patients are bedbound, contrary to popular belief, and many are able to go and wash at the sink or in the bathroom.

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  • Anonymous

    presumably the question above only refers to patients who are unable to do this for themselves. for other independent patients it is their own responsibility although it is unfortunate if they spread infection to other patients. disinfectant hand gels should be very visibly distributed all around the ward and brought to the notice of all staff, patients and visitors.

    failure to assist those dependent patients in their basic hygiene needs is professional negligence and neglect and a total disgrace in any hospital.

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  • Anonymous

    aren't disinfectant handgels removed from many areas nowadays? isn't it better to wash your hands.

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  • Anonymous

    Having recently been discharged from hospital, at no time did my fellow patients attempt to wash their hands before eating, even though they were quite capable of getting to the sink. I believe that they would have been quick to blame the ward staff if they had contracted any communicable disease through not washing their hands.

    I don't think its silly to offer hand wipes to bed bound patients, despite how the suggestion above was scoffed by 6.19 above. Ward staff have barely enough time to care, and if they are to now offer bowls of water, soap and towels to everyone before mealtimes then the ward staff numbers need to be at least doubled.

    How many of the public use handkerchiefs when they sneeze? I spend half my working life handing out tissues to patients who cough and splutter all over me. Non bed bound patients should start to help themselves by washing their hands before eating, and this should be encouraged on the wards, including prominent posters in all wards.

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  • Anonymous

    I think noting how many people walk out of public toilets without washing their hands says a lot about general standards of hygiene. it is not when they come into hospital as patients who are mobile and/or independent they are suddenly going to change their habits unless they are reminded.

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