There are factors that play an important role in understanding how cross-contamination can occur in a healthcare setting, such as skin structures, transient organisms, and factors that increase the likelihood of the presence of bacteria during a procedure. The skin contains lipids and other structures that make it serve as a protective barrier on the body. There are two categories or organisms that can be found on or within the skin—transient and resident flora. Transient organisms are pathogenic and reside on the surface of the skin, whereas resident flora are nonpathogenic and are found deeper within the skin. Therefore, proper hand hygiene is focused on removing the majority of transient organisms on the skin. The presence of specific factors can affect the effectiveness or removing transient organisms, such as rings and long or artificial fingernails. According to “Hand Hygiene and Hand Care”, “…some studies have shown that the skin underneath rings is more heavily colonized for certain types or bacteria, compared to skin without rings” (3). In add...
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...t must be taken into consideration when working in a healthcare setting and when constantly practicing hand hygiene methods. As a dental assisting student and healthcare worker, it is interesting and surprising to be informed of the many factors that come into play in the reduction of cross-infection and how easily transient organisms can be easily transferred through ineffective hand washing. As someone who comes in contact with a large amount of people and objects on a daily basis and is unknowingly exposed to many pathogenic organisms, it is of interest and relief to read about proper hand hygiene. This newly gained knowledge about transient organisms and the ineffectiveness of the use of ring and artificial nails will be put to practice to ensure that cross-infection does not occur for the safety of oneself and everybody else in and outside the dental practice.
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