February 24, 2020
Medics Editorial Team
From childhood, we are taught to wash our hands before every meal and whenever we have come in contact with anything dirty or unsanitary. The Hungarian obstetrician Ignaz Semmelweis is credited with the discovery of the importance of hand washing in relation to medical practice in 1847.
For medical professionals and healthcare workers, hand hygiene is essential for these reasons:
When should hand washing be done? The World Health Organization (WHO) has identified these Five Moments for Hand Hygiene:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a longer list of critical times for hand hygiene:
While washing hands may seem to be so elementary, certain measures can go a long way in making hand hygiene a habit amongmedical professionals.
Sources & References
Shafer, E. (2014, April). Infection prevention in hospitals: The importance of hand hygiene. Retrieved from
World Health Organization. About SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands. Retrieved from
SingHealth. (2015). Improving Hand Hygiene Compliance Among Doctors. Retrieved from
Webb, J. (2018, May). Handwashing: One Of The Most Important Things You Can Do. Retrieved from
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018, September). Show Me the Science - Why Wash Your Hands? Retrieved from