Hand washing has been considered as one of the essential elements of infection control activities. Scientific evidence has supported the observations that the implementation of proper hand hygiene can significantly lower the risk of cross-contamination of infection in the community (Clancy, Delungahawatta and Dunne, 2021). Washing hands is one of the essential things that one can do to control and prevent the spread of many illnesses. Therefore, this paper will focus on community teaching on hand hygiene to reduce the risk of illnesses and infections being passed from an individual to the other. Educating the community on handwashing is a primary prevention technique aimed at preventing illnesses and reducing health risks.
Summary of the Teaching Plan
Educating the community about handwashing was insightful since it created awareness and knowledge about ways people can prevent the spread of infection (Osegbe, 2021). Handwashing is considered the foundation of hygiene practice. Considerably, handwashing has significant benefits, such as reducing the spread of influenza, Coronavirus, and other infectious diseases. Hand washing boosts hygiene, thus lowering respiratory infections and infectious causes of diarrhea. There is a need to constantly educate individuals about how they can reduce infections and illness through handwashing. Although handwashing has been part of everyone’s life for centuries, there have been limitations linked to assumptions that everyone understands the importance of handwashing. Most people wash their hands because the people around them are doing it. Hand washing has been taught over the years in schools and at home by parents in almost everyone’s childhood.
One of the greatest fear in teaching handwashing was the difficulty to win the attention of the people. It wasn’t easy to predict how people will respond to an activity that they have been doing regularly throughout their lives. Most people confessed that they were performing handwashing but had little knowledge of its importance towards their health and the people around them. The audience was responsive and were eager to understand proper hand hygiene practices and how they can wash their hands properly.
The teaching plan included the proper handwashing techniques, why washing hands is essential when one needs to wash their hands, and cleaning. For instance, it’s essential to wash your hands after sneezing, coughing, blowing the nose and touching anything contaminated or dirty. I was also able to offer information about several conditions and diseases that could be prevented through proper handwashing.
The curricula, materials and ideas for teaching hand washing to individuals of all ages played an essential role in teaching the handwashing practices. The teaching experience aimed to ensure that people of all ages have adopted proper hand hygiene and handwashing practices that will reduce illnesses and infections. The teaching program will also influence the policymakers to focus on hand washing as a primary measure to lower infections.
Epidemiological Rationale for Topic
Ideally, infections are caused by different factors linked to processes and systems of care and human behaviours conditioned by societal norms and beliefs. Hand hygiene has been one of the primary ways of preventing infection. Hand washing is a simple action but has lacked compliance among individuals, thus causes a global hygiene problem. The young, the elderly and immunocompromised have reduced immune systems, thus heightening their risk of developing infections and illnesses such as flu, Coronavirus and RSV. The young rely on vaccines since their immune systems are just beginning to get strengthened. The immune system of the immunocompromised and elderly is low; thus, their healing process is prolonged. Therefore, better ways to reduce illnesses and infections can significantly protect people of all ages.
The handwashing behaviour of the general public and its impacts on illnesses are issues of growing significance. Hand hygiene is a combination of hand washing and hand drying. However, most people overlook the significance of handwashing when engaging in activities that require hand hygiene practices (Hadaway, 2020). Handwashing with soap has been one of the most effective ways of getting rid of pathogens from the hands and preventing the spread of infections and contagions.
Hands play a significant role in transmitting fecal, bloodborne and respiratory tract viruses (Hadaway, 2020). Contaminated hands are the primary source of pathogenic spread and increase of microorganisms. Most viruses are transmitted easily from surfaces, food and hand to hand. Germs also get into hands when one touches an object with germs if someone sneezed or coughed on it or has been touched with some other contaminated object. When these germs get into hands, they can be transmitted from one individual to another. Additionally, people tend to touch their nose, eyes and mouth without their realization. These germs and viruses can get into the body through the nose, mouth and eyes, thus leading to infections.
Failing to perform daily living activities increases the risks of infection through pathogens. Lack of proper handwashing practices has been the leading cause of spreading multi-resistant organisms and great contributor to outbreaks. Over the years, the hand hygiene compliance rate has been lowering, but precautions have increased after COVID-19. Globally, children under the age of 5 have died from pneumonia and diarrheal diseases. Handwashing with soap could play a role in protecting children who get sick with diarrhea and other respiratory infections.
Teaching individuals about handwashing would help reduce illnesses in people with weakened immune systems and individuals who get sick with diarrhea and gastrointestinal diseases. Ideally, preventing illness reduces the use of antibiotics and the probability that antibiotic resistance will occur (reshtaa and Geetha, 2021). Reducing infections through hand washing would eliminate the overuse of antibiotics. There is convincing evidence that appropriate handwashing techniques can lower the rates of infection and incidences of multi-drug resistant bacterial isolates. The reinforcement of handwashing practices will help control epidemics, outbreaks as well as lower the healthcare cost.
Evaluation of Teaching Experience
The evaluation of the teaching experience starts from the teaching planning, which includes the plan of instruction, what will be presented to the audience and what the topic requires to help in primary intervention. Before monitoring and evaluating, it was vital to identify the group needs, the timeline within which the program was anticipated to happen, and the suitable data collection techniques. The results are to be measured as direct results of the process they happen. The objectives that defined the success of the program have to be assessed during the implementation process.
Community teaching is an important way of providing direct education to vulnerable individuals within the community. The teaching experience showed promise of improved handwashing and compliance to hand hygiene practices. The demonstrations and handouts were helpful to the people in remembering the hand washing techniques and the steps they needed to follow while washing their hands. Various learning techniques were used to address the teaching, such as visual, auditory, knowledge retention, and kinetic, ensuring that compliance was very high. One of the most effective ways of evaluating the teaching experience was to monitor the community’s adherence to the recommended handwashing practices taught. It was vital to offer the individuals a diary or flow chart to record their adherence to handwashing practices every time they conduct hand hygiene. This would be effective in establishing a routine for the individuals geared towards handwashing and allow the collection of data towards the adherence to the handwashing practice.
Community response to teaching
The gathering of the follow-up data determined the community’s response to the teaching. The feedback was collected after the completion of the teaching program. Most of the individuals involved in the teaching program stated that it was educational and that the instructions and pictures used to demonstrate were relative to the information being taught. Relatively, they were able to identify with the practices in their day to day life. All the participants said that they gained more knowledge on the importance of handwashing, handwashing practices, and how handwashing is linked to hygiene. For instance, they said that they learnt how to clean their hands using water and soap to minimize the transmission of germs and bacteria.
All the participants appreciated the demonstration and the interactive presentations. They said they were unaware of the number of times they touch their face and how easily they transmit infections and germs from surfaces that could be infected. The general outcome was positive, and there was a lasting effect on the community through preventing more spread and general health, therefore, lowering the chances of infections and illnesses.
Areas of strengths and areas of improvement
The strength of experiences includes the fact that the selected participants responded well, were responsible for the teaching program, and were willing to participate in the education program. Teaching was easy since the population selected was from the same locality, which made the follow up easy. Another strength was the sample size that was selected for the study was intimate and small. This made the implementation process to be straightforward for the chosen demographic. The population selected made it easy to collect the feedback, thus improving the ability to implement changes that would make it an easy process. The teaching experience was easy and flexible, with adjustments concerning the needs of the population.
The challenge encountered during the teaching experience was the need for additional time to carry out the educational program. The time was limited to conduct the teaching and determine whether the handwashing practices improved the health outcomes. Another challenge is that the current program only included a small population size. To effectively determine the overall effectiveness of the health outcomes demands a large sample size. Maintaining the attention of the audience, especially children, was a great challenge. This reduced the sessions into suitable time frames that prevented detailed explanations of some of the things that required more engagement in the presentation.
In summation, the success of community teaching depends on the audience’s readiness to retain information and implement what they have learnt. The teaching plan relied on several teaching techniques such as illustrations, power-point presentations, and curricula to guide the teaching plan. Teaching the community about handwashing is vital due to increasing outbreaks, illnesses and infections that have impacted the health and life of individuals. Therefore, understanding the handwashing practices will lower the occurrences of infections and illnesses within the community.
Clancy, C., Delungahawatta, T., & Dunne, C. P. (2021). Hand hygiene-related clinical trials reported between 2014 and 2020: a comprehensive systematic review. Journal of Hospital Infection.
Hadaway, A. (2020). Handwashing: clean hands save lives. Journal of Consumer Health on the Internet, 24(1), 43-49.
Osegbe, M. N. (2021). Reducing Infection Rates Through Handwashing Education.
Sreshtaa, V. S., & Geetha, R. V. (2021). Role of Handwashing and Hand Sanitising in Preventing Infection. Annals of the Romanian Society for Cell Biology, 724-737.