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Celebrate the Holidays with Proper Handwashing

wash hands

Adam Heinz, Director of Clinical Communication, shares how to properly wash your hands.

Video Transcription

Hey, it’s Adam over at REMSA. The holidays are upon us and that means three things, right? Travel, great food, good company – family and friends. You know what all those things have in common? Germs.

Eighty percent of disease transmission occurs with these babies…touching your eyes, nose or mouth. In addition, 95 percent of us don’t even wash our hands properly. I’m going to show you how to do that real quick to make that you…you know, it’s on the even of flu season, so keep you safe. It starts with just normal water. Doesn’t have to be really hot. There was a study that showed that the same amount of germs were killed whether you use hot or cold water. So, wet your hands first. Use enough soap that’s going to cover your hands and we’re going to do this for about 20 seconds, or sometimes people will sing ‘Happy Birthday’ twice.

We’re kind of using physics to help us get some of those microbes off. We’ve got our palmer surface and then we’re going to switch to the dorsal surface of our hands. The top of our hands…we’re going to get in between those fingers, nice and good. Same thing on the other side. We’re going to switch again, and you know, it’s interesting… a lot of microbes like to hang out on our thumbs and so we’ll spend some special attention to our thumbs.

We’re going to move to cleaning our knuckles and it really is our cuticles. There’s an area there that those bugs like to hang out. Finally, we’re going to get down to our nails and there’s a lot of stuff underneath our nails. We want to make sure we’re clean and this is important if you’re preparing a turkey, or if you just got off the plane.

We’re done here and we’re going to go ahead and rinse. Using a paper towel is better than using some of those commercial air dryers that you find in bathrooms. The final step – instead of recontaminating yourself with this handle, is turning it off with your paper towel or your napkin and then throwing it away.

You know, sinks aren’t everywhere and when you’re on the go and you’re traveling, there are germs everywhere. Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at least 60 percent will help keep you healthy. It’s not going to help if you get grease, grime or dirt – where bugs like to hang out, but it definitely is an intermediary until you can get to the sink.

With flu season upon us, washing your hands and hand hygiene is extremely important.

From all the men and women here at REMSA/Care Flight, we wish you a happy, safe, clean-hand holiday!

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