With nursing staff washing their hands and using alcohol rub and gloves more frequently, maintaining skin health and avoiding skin conditions such as dermatitis is a key concern.
A recent survey carried out by the RCN found that 93% of nursing staff had experienced a skin condition in the previous 12 months. Meanwhile, 58% of respondents said they had not had any training on how to protect their hands at work.
The new resources include information about hand hygiene, protecting your hands, guidance on gloves, signs of skin conditions, and how to report issues to your employer.
New posters, designed to be displayed in workplaces, show the signs of work-related dermatitis and advice on maintaining skin health for those who are using PPE. There’s also an online learning module offering in-depth information about dermatitis.
Rose Gallagher, RCN Professional Lead for Infection Prevention and Control, said: “The COVID-19 crisis has thrown light on the importance of protective equipment for nursing staff in keeping them and their patients safe. However, we know that even in normal times far too often gloves are worn when they are not necessary. This has a real impact on skin health, even forcing some to change their jobs.
“If we don’t look after our hands, we may not be able to look after our patients, and ultimately risk damage to our hands which in some cases can be life-long.”
The resources have been created in collaboration with Mölnlycke and SC Johnson Professional.