Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Final DNP Paper

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) in Adult-Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner



Faculty Chair

Dr. Lori McGrath


Dr. Shunda Wilburn


Background: Medical professionals have commonly been urged to use soap and water to sanitize their hands to prevent contamination and disease transmission. However, thorough handwashing requires a couple of minutes to clean hands thoroughly. Considering that health professionals must sanitize their hands' multiply times during a day, handwashing consumes a significant amount of time away from bedside care. Time spent away from patients may also result in a substantial decrease in the quality of healthcare services provided by the medical institution.

Purpose: This project evaluates the current policy and procedure for appropriate use of handwashing versus hand sanitizer in the hospital setting. It compares practices with the best evidence-based practice literature to enhance infection control. In addition, an educational program has been evaluated and delivered to a sample of nursing students to improve the future workers' understanding of proper handwashing techniques during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Design Method: The project involved ten nursing students as participants. All participants received training on handwashing and completed pre and post-education surveys. The first survey completed was The Perception Survey for Health-Care Workers (PSHCW) (World Health Organization, 2019). The second survey consisted of a post-training assessment to test the participants' knowledge. Participants applied a cream called Glo-Germ (a mineral oil that makes bacteria visible under a UV blacklight) to their hands during the education session. They then examined them with a UV blacklight. Bacteria not removed with the use of the hand sanitizing methods was observed.

Conclusion: The results of this experiment indicate that hand sanitizers help with diminishing germs; however, they are less effective when compared to handwashing with soap and water. It was found that hand soap removes bacteria while hand sanitizer merely neutralizes it. Consequently, bacteria can resurface or resurge later when only utilizing hand sanitizers to clean hands.

Included in

Nursing Commons


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