How to decontaminate your hands effectively

This learning module has been accredited by the Royal College of Nursing and was last updated in 2020.

All modules are subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software.

Duration: 01:00:00 Type: How to modules Level: Students, Qualified Nurses


Mark Dexter Hillier, Lecturer, School of Nursing, Midwifery, Social Work and Social Sciences, University of Salford, Salford, England.

Short description

Read this module and update your knowledge and skills in hand hygiene.

Detailed description

This module describes when and how to decontaminate your hands effectively. Healthcare-associated infections are a risk to patients and service users, and nurses have a duty of care to protect these individuals from preventable infections. Nurses should practise good infection prevention, the basis of which is effective hand hygiene.

  • The nurse should understand the importance of hand decontamination for infection prevention.
  • The nurse should know when to wash their hands and the steps involved in effective handwashing using soap and water or hand cleansing using alcohol-based hand gel or rub.


Please note that information provided by RCNI Learning is not sufficient to ensure competence in the skill. Assessment of competence should take place in line with local practice. Practice should always align with local protocols and procedures, latest guidelines and any regulatory code.