Handwashing is an easy and simple way for health care providers to ensure a safe and healthy environment for both the health care provider and the patient. The following steps should be followed before and after patient contact. Wet your hands with lukewarm water. Dispense soap. Then rub your hands together for 20 seconds, making sure to cover your fingers, fingertips, backs of hands, palms, and wrists. For proper handwashing, this step should take no less than 20 seconds.
When finished, rinse your hands with running water, and dry them with paper towels. Turn off the water, avoiding contact with the faucet by using a paper towel. Then dispose of the paper towel in the trash.
In addition, a 70% alcohol hand sanitizer can be used to rub all hand surfaces, which is effective at killing most germs and viruses. Do not use solutions with greater than 90% alcohol content as these are less effective due to premature evaporation from the skin's surface.