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If I am in the hospital, how can I get my care team to wash their hands?

  1. Speak up. If you don’t see healthcare workers washing their hands or putting on gloves when they enter the room, it’s good to give them a gentle reminder. If someone on your care team is particularly dismissive when you raise concerns, you may want to mention it to a nurse manager or other clinical leader, as it is not only a safety issue for your care, but for other patients as well.
  2. Model good hand hygiene if you are able to do so:
  • Many hospitals now have antibacterial gels and foams outside hospital rooms, near elevators, in the cafeteria, and elsewhere. Use them and model the behavior so others who might be visiting you in the hospital get a visual reminder to wash their hands.
  • Have a bottle of antibacterial gel near your bed if it is safe for it to be there for your own use.
  • If you have been up and walking around and it is safe for you to do so, wash your hands in the sink when you get back to your room. Use soap and warm water.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.