Nurses show students handwashing techniques

Courtesy Photo Registered Nurse Jessica Bowser of MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena, along with Registered Nurse Erin Vogelheim, teach elementary students at St. Ignatius School in Rogers City about proper handwashing techniques.

ROGERS CITY — Jessica Bowser, B.S.N., R.N., of MidMichigan Medical Center-Alpena, along with Erin Vogelheim, B.S.N., R.N., recently visited St. Ignatius School to teach the students about the techniques of proper handwashing.

They demonstrated how germs can easily spread from one person to another either through direct contact or indirect contact. Bowser and Vogelheim were able to make it fun and interactive by using a glow-in-the-dark powder and lotion that they both used during nursing school.

The glow-in-the-dark powder represented the droplets that are released into the air when a person coughs or sneezes. These tiny droplets can travel as far as six feet and can spread germs by landing on surfaces or in another person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

After applying the powder, they turned off the classroom lights and used a black light to show the surfaces the “germs” spread to and how “gross” it was. The students resounded with an overwhelming, “eww” that could be heard throughout the hallways of the school.

With the lotion, Bowser and Vogelheim were able to demonstrate to the kids the importance of washing your hands using friction and scrubbing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Again, by using the black light, they could show the kids and teachers that applied the lotion to their hands and then washed them in their normal fashion, the residual “germs” left on their hands vs. when you scrub your thumbs, fingernails, tops, bottoms, in between fingers and your wrists using proper technique.

It was an interactive and fun way to teach infection control and proper hand hygiene to the school. The students loved the demonstration and are now taking more time to wash their hands properly to help control the spread of germs.


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