What is Hand Hygiene?


Hand Hygiene is a a term used to desribe the removal of germs from the hands. It is essential that everyone who comes into a hospital participates in our Hand Hygiene protocols.

All visitors and health care providers must practice good hand hygiene immediately before AND after leaving a patient's room.  Unless your hands are visibly soiled, the best way to clean your hands is by using a waterless alcohol-based hand cleanser. Dispensers are located at every bedside, and at various locations throughout CCTC.

All staff and visitors must practice hand hygiene before entering a patient's room to ensure that they do not carry germs to a patient. They must also practice Hand Hygiene before they leave a patient's room to ensure that they do not carry germs out of the patient's room.  If someone leaves a patient's room without practicing hand hygiene, germs can be left on door knobs, waiting room chairs or on any object that is touched. this can make germs available to be carried to another patient.

Waterless hand cleaner is available in dispensers on the walls throughout the hospital. This product is more effective at killing most germs than soap and water and works best when the hands are rubbed together vigorously until the cleaner is absorbed into the skin.

If you are ill, please speak to the nurse prior to visiting. You should refrain from visiting if you are unwell.


London Health Sciences Hand Hygiene
Waterless Hand Cleaner
Rub Vigorously Including Under Nails and Thumbs

Pump the alcohol based hand hygiene product to dispense one "pump full".

Vigorously rub product into hands. Friction increases the effectiveness of the product. Rememer to rub product into the air under your nails and include both thumbs.


Technique for Hand Hygiene Using Soap and Water

Alcohol-based Hand Rub

  • Wet hands with warm water
  • Apply 1 or 2 pumps of soap
  • Rub hands together vigorously for at least 15 seconds to lather the soap and cover all surfaces of hands
  • Pay attention to finger tips, between fingers, backs of hands and base of thumbs
  • Thoroughly rinse soap from hands
  • Blot hands gently with paper towel; Dry thoroughly, Use paper towel to turn off faucet

  • Ensure hands are visibly clean (if soiled, use soap and water first)
  • Apply 1 or 2 full pumps of product to palm of hand
  • Spread over all surfaces of hands and fingers
  • Pay attention to finger tips, between fingers, backs of hands and base of thumbs
  • Rub hands together until product is dry*. This will take 15-20 seconds if sufficient product is used
  • Hands must be fully dry before touching the patient or patient’s equipment


Learn more about Infection Control from the London Health Sciences Home Page.


If you notice that someone has come in contact with a patient without practicing hand hygiene, you are encouraged to remind them. If you have any concerns about the cleanliness of the environment, or about any other infection control practice, please speak to the Charge Nurse who is on duty, or the Coordinator at 54990.



Last Update: October 23, 2014