Time to Train our Healthcare Workers about the T Zone!

I am certain many of your staff  go to work sick!

 

 Comprehensive Cold & Flu Prevention Triad:

1. Do not touch the T ZONE (eyes, nose & mouth mucus membranes)

2. Handwash Regularly

3. Don’t Hesitate to Vaccinate

    As we move through the annual flu season with the “drift” it’s worth reminding your colleagues and medical staff how to avoid infecting themselves and teach the technique to their patients.

   Although most health care workers get the mandated flu shots, this step alone isn’t enough and can divert their focus from true infection prevention – knowing where their hands are at all times and whether they are contaminating themselves!

   I co-authored a study 3 years ago that looked at hand hygiene and face touching at seven Cincinnati-area clinics. It found that health care workers, on average, touched their T Zone 19 times over two hours. While they often washed their hands, only 9 percent met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria of being effective.

  Touching your T Zone is an “unconscious” habit, as no one in their right mind would want to “give” themselves a fatal respiratory infection or even one that debilitates them like the flu.  Well the “magic” is breaking that habit, which is where your physician can help.

  Children are emulating the adult’s behavior so it becomes imperative for us to model the behavior that we want to teach the children.  Yes if you understand the role your hands play in the contraction and spread of infections you will be more secure and less likely to be sick from any viral infection!

  Infection Prevention is EVERYONE’S business!!

Thank you for helping to “Spread the Word not the Germs”!  

-Dr. Will

* 1. Elder NC, Sawyer W, Palleria H, Khaja S, Blacker M. Hand hygiene and face touching in family medicine officesH: a Cincinnati Area Research and Improvement Group network study. J Am Board Fam Med. 2014;27(3):339-346.

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