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Health staff images used in hand hygiene campaign

Doctors nurses social workers and cleaners images used in hand hygiene campaign in BOP

Over the next month, the Bay of Plenty District Health Board is putting visual emphasis on how hospital staff can stop the spread of infection by practicing good hand hygiene.

Director of Nursing at Bay of Plenty District Health Board Julie Robinson says good hand hygiene prevents the transmission of harmful microorganisms between patients or between different parts of a patient’s body.

Ms Robinson said it has been recognised internationally that the ‘5 moments for hand hygiene’ have resulted in less hospital acquired infections. She described the five moments as - before touching a patient, before a procedure, after a procedure or body fluid exposure risk, after touching a patient and after touching a patient’s surroundings.

“We want to get this serious clinical message across to our staff, patients and public in a fun way so have identified staff who practice good hand hygiene practice and have had full-sized photographs of them made.

“Over the next four weeks these cut-outs of cleaners, allied health workers, nurses and doctors will pop-up throughout both Tauranga and Whakatane hospitals.”

Ms Robinson said patients also need to feel that they can remind our staff, if they have to, to practice good hand hygiene practice. So cards will be placed in the wards and on bedside tables.

Through 2013 Hand Hygiene NZ (HHNZ) is making education a focus. Clinical Lead Dr Joshua Freeman says an important part of education is not only to explain when hand hygiene is necessary but also why it is important.

“Our aim is to get to the point where every healthcare worker employed in a New Zealand hospital knows exactly when hand hygiene is necessary during patient care to interrupt the transmission of potentially harmful microorganisms,” he said.

“Medical staff and senior doctors are a vital ally in the fight to improve hand hygiene behaviour and reduce healthcare associated infections. They are generally regarded as opinion leaders, whose attitudes and beliefs help to shape the attitudes and beliefs of those around them. It is vitally important, therefore, to gain their support whenever possible.

“If our most influential healthcare workers genuinely believe hand hygiene is necessary to protect their patients, then more widespread improvements in practice will inevitably follow,” he said.


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