Hand hygiene compliance can take a toll on hands. And just because clinicians wear gloves doesn’t mean their hands are completely protected. Underneath those gloves, many nurses commonly battle dry, irritated skin—complaints often connected to constant washing, scrubbing and sanitizing. In fact, 88 percent of healthcare professionals believe that following proper protocols can lead to the onset of skin problems.
Leading medical supplier Medline Industries, Inc. has developed an exam glove that helps soothe healthcare professionals’ hands and maintain the skin’s moisture barrier to prevent and protect dry skin. A number of skin studies have examined how clinician hands compare to those who don’t participate in frequent handwashing and conclude that healthcare workers are vulnerable to dry skin, more than any other group. Restore™ nitrile gloves with colloidal oatmeal incorporate this soothing agent. Colloidal oatmeal is a USP skin protectant drug and one the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has indicated can temporarily protect and help relieve minor skin irritation and itching due to rashes or eczema.
“More needs to be done to highlight the important link between hand hygiene compliance and skin care,” says Martie Moore, RN, MAOM, CPHQ, chief nursing officer for Medline. “Gloves are like a second skin to healthcare workers and this innovative new glove is a simple step facilities can take to help protect its most valuable tools—the hands of staff.”
Roxana Reyna, BSN, RNC-NIC, WCC of Driscoll Children’s Hospital in Corpus Christi, Texas, who trialed the new glove, says, “The gloves feel soft with great tactile sensitivity that allowed me to feel the baby’s veins when starting IVs. Many nurses also shared that their hands felt softer and smoother, and noted experiencing less skin irritation and dry skin.”
Hand hygiene has long been recognized as the most important way to reduce the transmission of disease in the healthcare setting. But according to the World Health Organization (WHO), hand hygiene compliance practices among healthcare workers have historically been very low, averaging about 39 percent.
So Medline conducted an informal clinician poll on Medline University to learn if skin problems get in the way of compliance. Of those surveyed, here’s a look at #HandHealth feedback:
• Dry and itchy is the top description (44 percent) for hands during a regular shift
• Nearly 46 percent admit they forgot to wash hands or apply sanitizer before interacting with a patient
• More than 70 percent of those polled say they’d be more compliant if hands felt better
• Fourteen percent of respondents thought about leaving the healthcare field due to irritated or damaged hands. According to those closely monitoring the growing nursing shortage, figures indicate the average annual need for new nurses will come to about 113,000 per year over a 10-year projection timeframe.
“Our first job is to understand our customers’ needs and then provide them with solutions,” says Moore. “As hospitals look for new ways to meet infection prevention initiatives and improve the well-being of their staff, we can help through not only innovative products, like Restore, but also research and education. That’s how we can help improve outcomes and advance healthcare together.”
Restore’s patented technology is designed to protect and nourish the skin. The colloidal oatmeal in the glove temporarily protects and helps relieve minor skin irritation and itching due to rashes or eczema. By creating a soothing physical barrier between the glove and skin, the gloves contribute to a more comfortable and moisturizing environment where sweating and irritation can be common.
Source: Medline Industries, Inc.