This assignment will firstly explore the concept of health promotion, discuss hand hygiene in terms of health promotion, hand hygiene in clinical placement in regards to infection control and how nurses and other professions contribute to hand hygiene.
As highlighted by Jackson (2007), the Ottawa Charter (WHO 1986) supplies five main structural concept of health promotion:
“Building a healthy public policy, creating supportive environments, strengthening community action, developing personal skills, reorienting health services”
Otherwise, one could refute this by saying health promotion involves slightly more than just a concept whereby it’s being able to have control over their health and well-being. Also, Health promotion in terms of what is believed to be is strategies of encouraging people to get involved in activities that will help to alter undesirable behaviour that negatively impact on their health. For instance, if an individual is prone to infections combined with unawareness of hand hygiene with encouragement allows positive alteration in behaviour to keep themselves free from bacteria by carrying hand gel or wash their frequently.
In the case of health promotion, there will be a discussion on hand hygiene. The contribution of nurses to the health promotion is indulging in infection control such as hand hygiene in addition to using an educational and social change approach that asses the initial cause of organism being spread, plan for hand hygiene facilities to be utilized and implement hand hygiene in practice to reduce HACIs (Peto, 2009).
Fundamentally, nurses contribution to the health promotion activity is effective communication which is an essential tool when educating nurses and other health professions to maintaining good hand hygiene when entering and leaving the hospital (Pipers, 2009). Additionally, communication with professions and patients is the ultimate key to re-forcing the importance of hand hygiene. As WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene (2009) point out that having no awareness and information of the hand hygiene guideline can be improved by teaching staffs and patients .
One could argue even with the implementation of various campaigns such as ‘Clean your hands and wear badges that says ‘ask me if my hands are clean’ which has known to be effective (Hainsworth, 2004). Yet there is still increase of HAIs and even deaths in hospital and health-care workers has seen not utilizing hand hygiene facilities simply because they are too busy, given too much work, under staffing or lack of information on guidelines. Further, Flores (2008) proves that low hand hygiene compliance is caused by health professions having too much workload, not being taught the hand hygiene guidelines and no key staffs serves as an example towards other staffs on hand washing. Likewise, Pyrek (2006) believes that HCWs hand hygiene compliance is disappointing and they have failed to make use of hand washing due to poor information from other workers regarding the significance of decreasing infections and to promote hand hygiene, poor hand hygiene technique and poor level of staffing.
Although, clinical placement shows an observation on numerous occasions of some doctors in particular after examining a patient in the consultation room they forget or simply don’t wash their hands. Also, doctors, nurse and health-care assistants wash their hand irregularly even between different patients hand are left contaminated.
Over the past years, there was been frequent reports on the poor compliance of hand hygiene practices. The most recent article from the Press Association (2010) was an outbreak of Clostridium Difficile causing multiple of deaths dues to health professions not comply with simple hand washing practice within hospitals. The increase of Clostridium Difficile in hospital is the reason why there are high death rates because of failure hand hygiene compliances.
Finally, healthcare workers contribute to health promotion by assisting and supporting patients to maintain hand hygiene to enhance their health and reduce the events of infections. Thus, nurses work closely with patients so they have to set an example which should also be carried out by healthcare workers.