Intended for healthcare professionals
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Hand hygiene: the importance of decontamination for infection control

Author: Heather Gluyas

Duration: 10 min Last updated: 2020 Quality Assurance: Peer-reviewed Level: Qualified nurses, Students Language: English

Course description

Good hand hygiene practices prevent healthcare-associated infections and save lives, yet compliance among healthcare workers can be poor.

This module emphasises the importance of hand hygiene and examines human factors in preventing healthcare-associated infections.

Learning aims and intended outcomes

  • The importance of hand hygiene for infection control in healthcare settings
  • The reasons for poor compliance with hand hygiene practices
  • The cognitive processes that can lead to errors
  • The types of violation involved in hand hygiene errors


  • Why is hand hygiene vital?
  • A human factors perspective
  • Risk analysis
  • Summary


Heather Gluyas

Associate professor, School of Health Professions, Murdoch University, Mandurah, Western Australia.


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. All modules should currently be viewed together with available national and local Covid-19 guidelines. For advice, go to


  • Why is hand hygiene vital?
  • A human factors perspective
  • Risk analysis
  • Summary

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