Infection Prevention and Wellness
Clean hands are the main way to prevent the spread of infection. Patients, visitors and staff are reminded to clean their hands before and after patient interaction.
St. Luke's hygiene program helps to prevent the spread of infections.
Important times for cleaning hands are:
- after using the restroom
- before and after preparing food
- after coughing or sneezing into your hands or tissues
- before and after touching a patient or items in patient rooms
- after contact with blood or other body fluids
- after removing gloves
Using soap and water to clean hands:
- Wet hands with water and use one pump of soap
- Scrub hands for at least 15 seconds (top, bottom, between fingers, around jewelry)
- Rinse and dry hands
- Turn off faucet with a clean paper towel
Hand sanitizer may also be used for cleaning hands:
- Use 1 pump of hand scrub
- Spread all over hands (top, bottom, between fingers, around jewelry, etc.)
- Rub in until dry
Cover your cough or sneeze
Covering your cough or sneeze is also a way to prevent the spread of infections.
Many infections are spread by coughing or sneezing:
- the common cold
- influenza (flu)
- and many other meningitis infections
If you have a cough or other signs of a respiratory infection:
- Cover your cough or sneeze using your forearm, instead of your hands. By doing this you can prevent the spread of infection from dirty hands.
- If you cough or sneeze into your hand or a tissue, clean your hands right away before touching other items.
- Ask for a mask to wear when sitting in crowded waiting areas.
- If you cannot wear a mask, sit at least 3 feet from others. This will prevent spreading infection to others.
- Do not re-use tissues. Use them once and throw them away.