Think Before You Shake

Tod Browndorf

How many of us have done volunteer work? I did, a while back; I signed up to volunteer a couple of times a week at a local senior center where, incidentally, I played bingo with my grandmother when I was a kid. I have a soft spot for the place for that reason, plus, I wanted to do something that would give a little something back to the community.

When I went to the volunteer orientation meeting, they didn’t really offer any formal training, other than to show the group a 20 minute training video about how to, wait for it… wash our hands. Yes, there is a way to properly wash your hands, but apparently, the majority of people are getting it wrong.

Appallingly Bad Execution of Personal Hygiene

According to a study conducted at Michigan State University, a college town with many presumably unwashed youth, only about 5.3 percent of individuals washed their hands in public bathrooms for the time required to properly kill any germs accumulated during the act of, um, evacuation. Others simply rinsed briefly with water, and still more left the facilities without even pausing at the sink. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that hands must be washed with soap for a minimum of 20 seconds in order to kill germs and prevent the spread of diseases and infections.

Since many of us don’t carry a stopwatch, the CDC recommends humming “Happy Birthday” while washing, which should take the required 20 seconds to complete. As for those cute little bottles of hand sanitizer that we all carry but rarely use, they are a good idea, but should not take the place of regular hand-washing, especially if your hands are dirty from other activities. By the way, make sure those fruity-smelling potions procured from that store you find in every shopping mall contain at least 60 percent alcohol. Any less and they’re worthless.

Our days are tough enough to get through without having to add the worry of coming into contact with someone who does not properly wash his or her hands. Of course, you’re not going to inquire before shaking someone’s hand whether or not it has been properly washed (at least I wouldn’t), but you certainly don’t want to wonder if that seemingly innocuous handshake might send you to the emergency room with a case of the willies. We’ve all heard about how dirty hospitals are, and how resistant those nasty staph infections can be.

Coggno Can Help You Wash Your Hands

If you personally want to learn the proper way to wash up, or if you believe your employees could learn a thing or two about proper hygiene practices, Coggno can help. We have an affordable hand washing training course you can purchase for yourself, or your organization. Remember what your mother always told you: cleanliness is next to godliness.