Hand Hygiene Protocol

Last modified by Iris Spruit on 2021/12/17 16:06

Hand hygiene protocol


To prevent the transfer of micro‐organisms via the hands by applying proper hand hygiene.

Abbreviations and definitions

  • Hand hygiene: washing, disinfecting, and caring for the hands;
  • Hand washing: removing dirt and part of the transient (various temporarily present microorganisms) flora on the hands. The hands are washed with water and liquid hand wash and dried with a disposable towel;
  • Disinfection: the killing and reducing of transient and resident (micro‐organisms that are always present on the skin) flora on the hands. The hands are rubbed with hand alcohol until the hands are dry.
  • Hand care: moisturising the hands after disinfecting

General remarks

  • Hands play an important part in the transfer of micro‐organisms. Good hand hygiene is the most important method for preventing this from happening;
  • In order to make good hand hygiene possible, rings, piercings, watches and bracelets are not permitted;
  • Nails must be kept short and clean. Dirt under the nails must be brushed away carefully, with a soft brush;
  • Nail polish, acrylic nails or other forms of false nails are not permitted;
  • Do not disinfect hands after washing hands. Double hand hygiene is unnecessary, inefficient, and puts too much stress on the skin;
  • Carry out hand hygiene before putting on gloves and directly after taking them off.

When to wash hands

  • Always before the start of research activity;
  • In the case of visible or noticeable contamination;
  • After visiting the toilet;
  • After sneezing, coughing and blowing one’s nose;

When to disinfect hands

  • Before touching the participant;
  • Before and after collecting organic matter.
  • After touching the participant (to prevent the participant’s pathogens (micro‐organisms that cause disease) from spreading further via the researcher).

Disinfecting your hands

  • Fill the hollow of your dry hands with hand alcohol from the dispenser. Take as much as is needed to cover all of your hands and wrists;
  • Follow the technique described below. This procedure will take around 30 seconds;
  • If the hand alcohol has not dried up (enough), effectiveness is reduced and skin irritation may occur.

Hand washing

  • Open the tap and let the water run;
  • Wet your hands thoroughly. Get some soap out of the dispenser;
  • Follow the technique described below;
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly;
  • Turn the tap off with a paper towel;
  • Dry your hands and wrists thoroughly with a clean paper towel;
  • Throw the used towel in the bin.

Hand hygiene techniques


Rub palms together.


Remember the wrists.


Rub the back of the left hand with the right palm and vice versa.


Rub between the fingers.



Rub palms together with laced, spread fingers.



Rub the outside of the fingers on the palm of the other hand and vice versa.



Grab the thumb of the other hand and twist. Repeat for the other thumb.



Rub the fingertips in the palm of the other hand. Repeat for the other hand.

After washing hands, close the tap using a paper towel.



The image shows the parts of the hands that are most usually skipped: the fingertips, the areas between the fingers, and the thumb.

NB1: Hands must be disinfected before contact with the participant. After contact, hands must be disinfected again. Should there be another participant straight afterwards, it is not necessary to disinfect hands again before contact is made, provided there has not been any contact with the environment in‐between.

NB2: Hand alcohol is preferable to using soap and water. Hand alcohol has a greater germ‐reducing effect, is more skin friendly (because of the added moisturizing ingredient) and can be applied more quickl

XWiki 14.10.13