Staff on the Rangatira Ward have a great attitude towards improving
hand hygiene.

Waitakere Hospital
Waitemata District Health Board
Ward of the quarter, November 2013

Despite being a very busy department, good hand hygiene practice is a key priority for the healthcare team on Rangatira Ward at Waitakere Hospital.

So much so, that their great attitude and can-do approach to hand hygiene makes them stand out as a positive role model for the rest of their DHB, says Heather Salisbury, Infection Prevention Control Nurse Specialist and HHNZ gold auditor for Waitemata DHB.

“Rangatira Ward is an acute medical paediatric ward, and the team, take hand hygiene extremely seriously,” says Heather.

Rangatira comprises a large multidisciplinary team, and the high standard of hand hygiene is consistent across all groups of healthcare workers.

“This is vital because the vast majority of their patients are infectious and usually require contact and other transmission based precautions,” says Heather.

“Good hand hygiene at each of the 5 moments has become a routine part of their care, no matter how busy they are. It’s just too important not to take it seriously.

“The ward has two infection prevention control link representatives who promote hand hygiene and are very good at reminding staff if they spot someone missing a hand hygiene moment,” adds Heather.

For World Hand Hygiene Day, Rangatira’s play therapist involved children on the ward by printing some hands for the children to colour in. These were displayed in the main foyer, reminding staff, patients, and visitors to clean their hands.

On top of their busy workload, recent refurbishments at the hospital meant that half of the Rangatira Ward was closed. Staff had to work in much smaller quarters and also had half of their beds in the outpatient’s medical day stay area, effectively splitting their ward into two.

“Despite this they managed to maintain great hand hygiene standards, which is a testament to their hard work and commitment to protecting their patients,” says Heather.