During your CNA training, you will be taught the benefit and necessity of washing your hands frequently. You will be instructed to wash your hands when you enter a patient’s room, before performing each task for a patient, and when you leave the patient’s room. You will also be taught the effectiveness of using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer whenever necessary as well after CNA training. Washing your hands with hot water and soap thoroughly protects both you and the patient from harmful bacteria that you may pick up from working with sick and injured patients.
Did you know, however, that your uniform could be harboring the same harmful bacteria you are washing off your hands? According to a study by the American Professionals for Infection Control and Epidemiology, or APIC, medical professionals, like those who have completed CNA training, are playing host to harmful microorganisms, and many aren’t even aware of it.
Your scrubs, shoes, and even your socks may be filled with bacteria, and you may not only be putting your health and your patient’s health at risk, but your family’s as well. Here are a few steps you can take after CNA training to prevent the spread of bacteria from your scrubs to others.
After CNA Training: Preventing the Spread of Bacteria
- Always Wash Your Hands- As stated above, hand washing is essential in the medical profession. Consider what you learned in CNA training when you are scrubbing your hands. Makes sure to clean your cuticles, take off any jewelry you may be wearing, and scrub for thirty seconds to a minute. Keep your hands pointed down while you are washing; this prevent the spread of microorganisms up your arm. If you accidentally touch the side of the sink, consider what your CNA training instructor would say. Yes, that’s right. Start all over again.
- Don’t Touch Your Clothes- Even if you have worn gloves for a procedure, avoid touching your uniform until you have had a chance to wash your hands. You could spread harmful bacteria to your scrubs and pass it on to other patients, even if you wash your hands thoroughly.
- Change Your Uniform- After CNA training, make it a habit to bring another set of clothing to work every day. At the end of your shift, change out of your uniform before heading home. This will help prevent the spread of bacteria to your family.
- No Contact- If you can’t bring clothes to change into, or you forget to, make sure to avoid contact with anyone until you have had a chance to change out of your uniform and shower. It may be hard telling your kids you can’t hold them yet or passing up your spouse’s offer of a kiss and a hug, but it’s for the best.
- Set Aside Clothing- One of the best ways to prevent the accidental passage of bacteria from work to home is to designate certain items of clothing that will just be worn for work. This includes your scrubs, shoes, and socks. Choose which items will be worn at work after you complete CNA training, and never wear them around the house.
Protect Yourself, Your Patients, and Your Family After CNA Training
Your scrubs could be harboring harmful bacteria, and you might not even know it. Take the time to follow these tips to protect the health of yourself, your patients, and your family after you have completed CNA training.