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Washing Your Hands

Key Points

  • Rub your hands together really well for at least 15 seconds when washing them. 
  • Let your nurse know if you aren’t able to find hand sanitizer or have questions about how to use it. 

Washing or sanitizing your hands is one of the easiest things you can do to fight the spread of germs. Some germs can cause illnesses like colds, strep throat, diarrhea and flu. 

It is essential to clean your hands: 

  • Before eating and snacking 
  • After using the bathroom 
  • After petting a pet therapy animal 
  • Before going to the playroom 
  • After coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose 

Hand Washing

  • Use soap and warm water
  • Rub your hands really well for at least 15 seconds (Say the ABCs to make sure you’ve washed long enough) 
  • Rub your palms, fingernails, in between your fingers, and the backs of your hands
  • Rinse your hands well to remove the soap
  • Pat your hands dry using a clean, dry paper or cloth towel
  • Use a towel to turn off the faucet 

Hand Sanitizing

Sanitizing uses a waterless, alcohol-based hand rub to reduce the amount of germs on your hands. (These rubs shouldn’t be used if your hands are visibly dirty. Instead you’ll need to clean your hands with soap and water.) 

  • Rub the sanitizer all over your hands
  • Make sure the sanitizer gets under your nails and between your fingers
  • Rub until your hands are dry

If you aren’t able to find hand sanitizer or have questions about how to use the product, please let your nurse know. 

Visitors coming into your room should wash or sanitize their hands. They should then repeat this before they leave your room. 

This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace the advice of your health care providers. If you have any questions, talk with your doctor or others on your health care team. If you are a Gillette patient with urgent questions or concerns, please contact Telehealth Nursing at 651-229-3890.