Rachel Burt aims to role model and promote
excellent hand hygiene.

Registered nurse, Emergency Department
Canterbury District Health Board
Gold auditor of the quarter—March 2013

Rachel Burt is a hand hygiene gold auditor for Canterbury DHB and has been a significant help to the gold auditing team. What’s more, Rachel is passionate about improving hand hygiene practice among her colleagues and she does all this on top of her busy schedule as an emergency department nurse.

“Rachel has gone above and beyond for our service to assist us with auditing,” says Cilla Wyllie-Schmidt, Clinical Nurse Specialist on the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) team at Canterbury DHB.

During the October 2012 audit period, the IPC service was having an incredibly busy time with seasonal illnesses.

“Rachel was willing to audit over and above her usual working schedule in the emergency department, and came in to carry out auditing prior to, or after her shift in the ED. She also came in on days off especially to audit,” says Cilla.

“Rachel’s assistance with auditing helped us to meet the numbers required for our DHB. She demonstrates real commitment to IPC and to the five moments for hand hygiene within our DHB,” says Cilla.

After training as a gold auditor Rachel said she became far more aware of her own hand hygiene practice and her aim is to role model best practice. She is now the IPC link representative for the ED, and is very aware of the challenges in ED when it comes to accepting the five moments approach to hand hygiene.

Taking this on board, Rachel has actively promoted the five moments of hand hygiene within her department. This has included giving staff presentations and providing educational material.

In particular Rachel and an ED associate charge nurse manager put together slides to help promote and remind staff about the five moments of hand hygiene at each nursing handover. The slides also encouraged staff to complete the online learning package and highlighted the importance of alcohol-based hand rub being readily available in the department.

“It has been difficult to change old hand hygiene practices such as glove wearing in the ED, but I use the audit results to help me identify and target education, which has been useful,” says Rachel.

“The five moments involves changing healthcare workers’ way of thinking. It focuses on preventing the spread of infection that healthcare workers pose to patients, because each episode of hand hygiene reduces the microorganisms found on healthcare workers hands,” she says.