CDC announces "National Handwashing Awareness Week"

Submitted by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Clean hands are the single most important factor in preventing the spread of dangerous germs and antibiotic resistance in health care settings.

Basic Handwashing Steps
Hands should be washed with antimicrobial soap and water when the hands are visibly dirty or contaminated with proteinaceous material.

  • Remove rings
  • Wet Hands
  • Apply antiseptic soap, use warm water and vigorously lather for at least 15-20 seconds (sing Happy Birthday to yourself)
  • Scrub all areas to include: knuckles, cuticles, beneath nails and both sides. Rinse well
  • Dry hands completely with a clean paper towel
  • Use a dry paper towel to shut off faucet
  • Don’t touch anything after washing hands
  • Use paper towel to open door if in a bathroom

Hands should be washed at the beginning and end of the work day, before and after using gloves, before eating, smoking or handling medications, after using the toilet, after wiping the nose or touching the face, and after touching contaminated surfaces. Remember, positive patient outcomes are in your hands.

Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Web site at

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