By: Martie Moore
We know that hand washing can leave hands dry and irritated, but not doing enough hand washing may hinder infection-reducing objectives. And here lies the ongoing dilemma.
According to a new study from The University of Manchester, following increased hand hygiene – in a drive to reduce infections – incidence of dermatitis increased 4.5 times in healthcare workers. Lead researcher Dr. Jill Stocks made it clear that she doesn’t want people to stop washing their hands; rather, she is calling on facilities to offer less irritating products and to establish practices to prevent and treat skin issues workers may face.
As a nurse, I know that our hands are our most valuable tools, yet they are at high risk of vulnerability due to constant hand washing and sanitizing. With the recent findings from Dr. Stocks and the ongoing issues year after year with hand hygiene compliance, it’s time for new solutions and new statistics.
A New Solution:
Medical supplier Medline Industries, Inc. is challenging hospital teams across the U.S. who struggle with dry, irritated hands at work to a free trial of its Restore nitrile exam gloves coated with colloidal oatmeal in their 10-day hand care challenge. The colloidal oatmeal coating between the skin and the glove creates a more comfortable and moisturized home for your hand where sweating and irritation can be common.
This challenge opens up greater awareness to the important link between hand hygiene compliance and proper skin care, as they should go hand-in-hand.
After a panel of nurses from across the country trialed the Restore nitrile gloves for the 10 days, here’s what was discovered:
- 74 percent experience problem hands frequently or at least several times per week.
- 78 percent said their hands felt soft at work after wearing Restore nitrile gloves. Prior to the challenge, only 1 percent had said their hands felt soft at work.
- 70 percent said their hands felt moisturized as a result of wearing Restore nitrile gloves. Prior to the challenge, no participants felt their current gloves made their hands feel moisturized.
- 82 percent were content with the condition of their hands at work after wearing Restore nitrile gloves. Prior to the challenge, only 4 percent were content with the condition of their hands at work.
- 92 percent said they would recommend the Restore nitrile gloves to others.
This challenge is one simple step facilities can take to help promote hand hygiene compliance. How? Wearing the Restore nitrile gloves can help relieve itchy, dry skin making it easier to comply to hand hygiene protocols, and will also protect the nurse and the patient from contamination. The caring hands that provide support every day deserve to feel relief. Nominate your facility to take the challenge so your team can start to feel the difference.
The hands of healthcare workers deserve to be cared for in a new way. Are you up for the hand care challenge?
Martie L. Moore, RN, MAOM, CPHQ, is the chief nursing officer at Medline Industries, Inc. As CNO, Martie develops forward-thinking, solution-driven clinical programs, as well as new products and educational services. Prior to joining Medline, Martie was the chief nursing officer at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland, Oregon. Moore has nearly 30 years of clinical experience and extensive nurse leadership.