Handwashing Compliance in the Health Care Setting – Wellness&Lifestyle Example

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"Handwashing Compliance in the Health Care Setting" is a perfect example of a paper on wellness and lifestyle. Health and safety are among the most significant parts of a human being in their daily activities. It is vital to mention that in the modern-day scenario the number of health issues has raised considerably which further becomes a threat to the wellbeing of the people living in this society. However, dealing with such health issues not only requires proper medical attention but also necessitates certain basic hygiene rules to be followed in daily life.

Contextually, hand washing is one such approach, which is deemed to be effective in dealing with the basic health-related issues. Therefore, this particular paper intends to conduct a review of three pertinent articles that are relevant to the subject of handwashing and its importance in determining the health and safety of the people. Literature Review Gould, Chudleigh, Drey, and Moralejo (2007), in their research study “ measuring handwashing performance in health service audits and research studies” mainly focus on depicting the importance of handwashing in assuring proper health and well-being.

The authors depicted that hand-washing is one of the most important approaches in controlling infections and other related issues. In order to provide a comprehensive understanding in this regard, the authors studied various literature and other relevant readings in the process of seeking a thorough understanding of the subject matter. Observably, the number of health issues in the contemporary scenario has shown an increasing trend which further augments the concern of the healthcare settings throughout the world.   In accordance with the studies conducted by the authors, the approach of hand-washing is one of the most efficient and cost-effective means of plummeting Hospital Acquired Infection (HAI).

It has been acknowledged from the research that hand washing was rarely practiced by healthcare workers and to get the basic compliance regarding its increase a literature review was conducted by the authors. From the review conducted by Gould, Chudleigh, Drey, and Moralejo (2007), it was identified that 42 intervention studies revealed that compliance with handwashing helps in ensuring the health and safety of the people. Moreover, the authors did not provide much importance to ethical consideration. They rationalized the importance of drying hands as the chances of bacteria transfer is more in case of a damp surface.

The study also reflected the importance of hand-washing during the busy hour of the clinical setting as the chances of infection increase due to a lack of hygiene. The authors further revealed that the reliability of the study would have been more if the time span of direct observation lasted for 24 hours. It has been ascertained that health workers have pertinent awareness of their hygiene and its impact on the quality of care of the patients.

The authors emphasize the significance of handwashing in reducing the HAI as it is very cost-effective. The article suggests increasing the compliance of hand-washing in the clinical setting to safeguard the health of people. The greatest issue as acknowledged in the study is the elimination of the Hawthorne effect along with creating an awareness regarding the relevance of hand-washing in the healthcare sector. The article “ Now washes your hands? A survey of hospital handwashing facilities” by Kesavan, Barodawala, and Mulley (1998), reflects a brief introduction to the health care infrastructure and its effect on hand-washing. In accordance with the study, it is affirmed that hand-washing is one of the significant aspects to prevent infections in the clinic.

It is reflected that the compliance with hand-washing is minimal with the doctors as compared to the other clinical staff. The reason for such actions as reflected by the author is a lack of time and often inadequate facilities on the premises. Kesavan, Barodawala, and Mulley (1998) further recommend that proper placement of the sinks and soft paper towel might help the care people to encourage hand washing before their interaction with the patients.

The authors asserted that the absence of antiseptic agents, soap dispensers, and hand drying near the sinks are a few of the prime reasons which create an obstacle regarding the compliance of handwashing to ensure safety. A lack of preventive measures as per the authors leads to the noncompliance of the safety measures. The important preventive measure of disease is hand washing which is not being followed due to the inadequate facilities in the hospital.

In the view of Kesavan, Barodawala, and Mulley (1998), the antiseptic agents must be made available for the purpose of hand-washing. The infrastructure of the medical wards plays a significant role to encourage preventive measures such as hand-washing for reducing infection. The compliance of hand-washing was not being followed by the healthcare people due to a lack of awareness, training, and also due to a lack of amenities required to encourage the act of hand-washing. The authors further reflected on the preventive measures along with the safety of the people in the healthcare sector.

Besides, they focussed on the importance of providing better amenities in the healthcare premises to increase the compliance of handwashing in the setting.   The article “ Compliance with handwashing and barrier precautions” by Larson & Kretzer (1995), asserts the significance of education, motivational programs, and personal feedback on the compliance of hand-washing in the health sector to increase the safety. The study evaluated the importance of hand hygiene along with barrier precautions as the cornerstone for the prevention and safety in the health care setting. The authors reflect in the article the practice and the rate of compliance with handwashing by the health care people to make the atmosphere safe from infection.

In order to attain a proper understanding of the subject matter, the authors conducted a review for a period of ten years to attain accurate results. It was observed that the health care people used gloves before attending the patients and used them in the laboratory as well. This behavior is not adequate for the safety of the people in the prevention of infectious diereses. The aspect of hand-washing in the health sector was not followed unanimously by the nurses.

Compliance with handwashing as per the study depends on various factors such as the severity of the disease and the patients’ nurses are dealing with. The safety of the people is more when hand washing is followed by wearing gloves as stated by Larson & Kretzer (1995). This was attainable by providing feedbacks and educating the health care people regarding its ill-effects as stated by the authors. Furthermore, the quality of care could be more with enhanced facility and compliance with handwashing leading to safety in the healthcare setting.

Compliance with handwashing would lead to prevention and an increase in the safety of the people. This is possible as per the authors by providing knowledge and changing the attitude of the healthcare people from traditional practices. The article intends to state the importance of handwashing which would lead to a reduction in stress and infection.   A proper atmosphere in the health care sector would lead to a positive attitude of the people and upgrade the process of safety intervention.

Compliance with handwashing is important for every level of people in the health setting. Conclusion A review of the articles emphasizes the importance of handwashing in the health care sector. The dimension of safety in the healthcare setting is dependent on the infrastructure and on awareness. A sustained focus on ensuring a better working environment would lead to the safety of the people and reduce health risks. Hand-washing compliance would lead to an improvement in the health setting along with reducing the level of infection to ensure safety.


Gould, D. J., Chudleigh, J., Drey, N.S. & Moralejo, D. (2007). Measuring hand washing performance in health service audits and research studies. Journal of Hospital Infection, 66, 109 -115.

Kesavan, S., Barodawala, S. & Mulley, G.P. (1998). Now washes your hands? A survey of hospital hand washing facilities. Journal of Hospital Infection, 40, 291-293.

Larson, E. & Kretzer, E.K. (1995). Compliance with hand washing and barrier precautions. Journal of Hospital Infection, 30, 88-106.

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