Reflective writing

How children's nursing students can challenge hand hygiene practice

Liverpool John Moores University child health student Maria Duffey, a finalist from the NCYP Student Voice competition, on what she learned about infection prevention
Hand hygiene

Earlier this year, as a first-year student childrens nurse, I attended training on infection prevention and control and hand hygiene audits, organised by a local trust.

Maria Duffey

During the audit, I observed that hand hygiene procedures were not always followed to the letter on busy wards. To my surprise I witnessed a member of staff challenging a more senior professional who had failed to follow hospital policy after being in contact with a patient.

It was a brave action to take, as it could have resulted in serious, negative consequences. In this case the senior health professional expressed thanks for being reminded. This situation demonstrated to me that hand hygiene techniques must become commonplace for all professionals.

Educating children

On placement, I have used the ABCD song to show children how long they need to spend washing their hands. Afterwards children who had

...

Earlier this year, as a first-year student children’s nurse, I attended training on infection prevention and control and hand hygiene audits, organised by a local trust.

Maria Duffey
Maria Duffey

During the audit, I observed that hand hygiene procedures were not always followed to the letter on busy wards. To my surprise I witnessed a member of staff challenging a more senior professional who had failed to follow hospital policy after being in contact with a patient.

It was a brave action to take, as it could have resulted in serious, negative consequences. In this case the senior health professional expressed thanks for being reminded. This situation demonstrated to me that hand hygiene techniques must become commonplace for all professionals.

Educating children

On placement, I have used the ABCD song to show children how long they need to spend washing their hands. Afterwards children who had previously been too quick spent an appropriate amount of time on the task – even without reminders.

While I am aware that challenging others’ behaviour can be difficult, my experience shows that students can help to change hand hygiene practice for the better. I would encourage other students to seek similar learning opportunities in their trust.

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