Key to mission success is in your hands

  • Published
  • By Senior Master Sergeant David A. Adkins
  • 52nd Aeromedical Dental Squadron
Chances are your hands are what you use most in your daily tasks whether it's performing ID card checks, weapon checks, typing at a computer or maintaining aircraft. We even use them when we greet one another. Because of this our hands are also the primary way we spread disease. In fact, throughout military history, more troops have been lost to infectious diseases than all battle-related injuries.

To prevent our greatest mission asset from becoming a liability, it's important that we take every opportunity to wash our hands. Clean hands can stop germs from spreading through an entire military unit.

No one wants to perform additional duties or cover longer shifts to make up for the absence of a sick co-worker, especially when the illness could have been prevented by some simple steps.

Below are some common questions and answers that will keep your hands and health in top shape.

You should wash your hands
·Before eating food.
·After using the toilet.
·Before and after caring for someone who is sick.
·After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
·After touching an animal or animal waste.
·After touching garbage.
·Before and after treating a cut or wound.

The right way to wash your hands is
·Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
·Rub your hands together to make a lather and scrub them well; be sure to scrub the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
·Continue rubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds.
·Rinse your hands well under running water.
·Dry your hands using a clean towel.

The most effective way to use sanitizer is
·Apply to the palm of one hand.
·Rub your hands together.
·Rub over all surfaces of your hands, fingers and nails until your hands are dry.
·Hand sanitizers are not as effective when hands are visibly dirty.

So remember, washing your hands is not an option, it is an obligation. The key to mission success literally rests in your hands.