By: Lady Gwyneth MacDonagh and Baroness Kristin Ailbe Anmclaid


Many germs are transmitted through our hands. The transmission of disease is easier than you might think.  Take the simple act of picking up a pencil.  You don’t know where it has been, who had it last, or what it rolled into under the desk.  You pick it up, bite the end of it, rolled in around your fingers (where you have a fresh paper cut from the forms you filled out!).  Congratulations! You have contaminated yourself.


In class (CNA Training), the first thing we learn it to properly clean our hands.  Most people think that the new alcohol cleaners do the job.  Well, they don’t.  After using a special florescent cream, we washed our hands.  Where we missed glowed bright purple!  I was amazed to see what areas I had missed.  Using the alcohol cleaner did well, but simple soap and water did better 100% of the time.


Begin with the clean water and soap.  Scrub your hands, remembering to get the cuticles, the wrist, under watches and rings.  Don’t turn the water off at this point.  Grab a paper towel, dry your hands.  Grab another paper towel, and turn off the faucet.  Doing this prevents your hands from getting re-contaminated.


We all know that running water is not always possible.  Here are some neat tips we have found over the years (17 for Kristin, 8 for myself):

1) A two-gallon jug with a spout on a table to serve as “running water”.
2) A one-gallon jug – with someone helping works.
3)  A fresh basin of water poured from a hose or spigot. (Do not rinse your hands in that water – use another.)
4) Water from a source that has not been “re-used” for anything else.


1) Before and after contact with a person with whom you treated for first aide injuries.
2) Before and after shift at Chirurgeon’s Point.
3) Before and after you have cleaned bottles, tubing, watering containers.
4) Before and after cleaning up treatment areas, trash, and basins.
5) BEFORE AND AFTER you put on gloves.  Yes, you still have to wash your hands.

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