Clean Hands Save Lives! How to Wash Your Hands

Shot of a man washing his hands

Did it really take a pandemic for people to start taking hand washing seriously? Doctors have always known that washing hands is one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs and keep people healthy. Are you washing your hands the right way? Make sure you’re following these guidelines.

  • First, get your hands wet. Use clean, running water, either warm or cold, depending on your preference. Once they’re wet, apply soap.
  • Work up a lather. Rub the soap between your hands, then work the lather all over the surfaces of your hands. Get the backs, between your fingers, and under the nails, and take your time making sure every spot is clean.
  • Keep the scrub going. Wash your hands for 20 seconds or longer. Not sure how long 20 seconds is? The Happy Birthday song, hummed twice, is about 20 seconds long. Of course, you can use other songs, too, as long as you time them to know how far you’ll need to sing before you’re done.
  • Rinse the soap off with clean, running water. We’re so blessed in this country to have ready access to clean, running water. Make the most of it and get every bubble off before you turn off the tap, preferably with a paper towel.
  • Dry your hands. Use a clean towel, a paper towel, or just air dry them, but please don’t wipe them on your jeans. Who knows what germs are lurking there?
  • Know when to wash. Wash your hands before and after you do anything with food, whether preparing or eating, and whether it’s human food or pet food. In fact, feel free to wash your hands during the time you’re preparing food, too. Any time you’re exposed to obvious germs, like if you’re caring for a sick person or treating a cut, you should wash your hands before and after that. Similarly, if you get germs on your hand by coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose, you should wash them. If you touch garbage, wash your hands. If you touch an animal or anything having to do with an animal, wash your hands. Finally, please wash your hands after any sort of toilet related activity, whether you’ve used the toilet, helped someone else use the toilet, or changed a diaper.
  • In a pinch, use some sanitizer. Sometimes, there’s no clean water and soap. In those situations, you can reduce the number of germs on your hands with an alcohol-based sanitizer that is made up of at least 60 percent alcohol. Put the sanitizer in the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, and then continue rubbing it all over your hands and fingers until they feel dry. Be aware, though, that hand sanitizers don’t remove all germs, and they don’t do a great job of cleaning hands that are visibly dirty.

We should all wash our hands frequently, as our goal should be to protect not only ourselves but others from the spread of disease. The goal of Total Point Urgent Care is to be a convenient healthcare resource for our community. Providing immediate medical care at a fraction of the cost of an emergency room, each neighborhood urgent care clinic in our network offers warm, efficient, personalized care. At our locations in Texas and Arizona, our on-site technology and services include urgent care walk ins, primary care, specialty care, routine check-ups, flu shots and other vaccinations, COVID-19 testing, and onsite lab and x rays. Soon, we’ll even offer virtual visits so that our patients can choose telecare instead of risking a trip to the clinic. For convenient medical care, visit one of our locations or contact us through our website.

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